Competition & Market regulation
Businesses operating in a free market economy are forbidden restrict or abuse their economic freedom to the disadvantage of consumers. When they neglect competition rules they run the risk of incurring a cartel fine – often quite a hefty one. In the Netherlands, the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) safeguards consumers’ rights and ensures compliance with competition law.
We are very experienced in handling competition procedures, also with cases brought before the European Commission. The ACM regularly requires their assistance in procedures brought by market parties concerning cartel decisions or with regard to merger control. Corporate clients also call on us, for example if they are confronted with a claim for damages following a cartel fine.
Where competition law does not suffice to adequately regulate a market supplemental regulation is required. In the telecommunications sector, for instance, EU regulation is deemed necessary in order to promote a fully competitive market. As far as the energy market is concerned, grid managers have a monopoly on transport of electricity and gas to consumers, and their rates have been regulated to ensure that these consumers pay a competitive price. In the healthcare sector the rates of healthcare services are regulated in order to keep costs in check. Another example of a regulated market is the transport sector, where the rates of providers with a dominant position, such as Schiphol or the registered pilots, are regulated by market forces.
We have specialised attorneys with years of experience in these fields. We advise supervisory authorities on the formulation of - often complex - regulatory decisions, and have defended dozens of regulatory decisions in court. An important part of our work is understanding the technology of the sectors and the economic principles upon which the regulation is founded. And we are second to none when it comes to understanding the aspects of administrative law involved. We are therefore always able to offer a valuable contribution whenever we act on behalf of supervisory authorities.
- "The team is very hands-on and has specialised expertise in all relevant fields.", Chambers Europe 2018
- "Pels Rijcken's extremely competent, very responsive' team is fun to work with", Legal 500 2018
"Clients are very enthusiastic about the firm, stating: They were outstanding - their co-operation with us is close and cost-effective.", Chambers Europe 2017
"The team did a great job, was quick, responsive and really to the point. It is our preferred firm for state aid questions.", Chambers Europe 2016
"The overall level of service is really outstanding. The advice is given within extremely short time limits and takes into account the political background of the case.", Chambers Europe 2016