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Practice area Market regulation

Knowledge of competition rules has been brought together in the Competition, Market Regulation & State Aid section.

Knowledge of competition rules has been brought together in the Competition, Market Regulation & State Aid section. The Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) and the European Commission (EC) monitor compliance with these rules. As well as the ACM, other supervisory bodies such as the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) and the Dutch Healthcare Authority (NZa) are also active in the field of market regulation.

Some markets require, in addition to the general competition rules, government regulation to kick-start and maintain market forces. This is particularly the case in sectors where previously state-owned companies have been active. For instance, KPN must give competitors access to its network so that they can deliver telecommunication services to end users in competition with KPN. A similar obligation applies to PostNL for 24-hour bulk mail. In the energy sector, network managers may not favour their own commercial units (who are active on the market). Market regulation may also result in supervisory authorities imposing (maximum) rates. The ACM has done this in the energy sector for example. NZa sets maximum rates for the care sector.

In addition to monitoring sector-specific rules, the ACM also monitors the observance of consumer regulations, such as the rules for distance selling and unfair trade practices for example.

The rules of market regulation provide opportunities for one party whilst they may mean an impediment or risk for another party. Our lawyers in this section have wide experience with the application of sector-specific rules in the field of care, telecommunication, consumer law, post and energy. We collaborate closely with lawyers from the Energy section, the Banking & Finance section and the Healthcare section.

In the field of market regulation falling under the supervision of the ACM, we advise and assist undertakings on:

  •  dispute procedures at the ACM
  • enforcement and sanction procedures of/at the ACM
  • advice and assistance during investigations by the ACM, including providing assistance during a raid/company visit 
  • advice and assistance during commitment processes 
  • advice and assistance during market analysis procedures and other decisions of the ACM such as rates decisions
  • advice and assistance during (internet) consultations of the government and legislative procedures in the context of sector-specific rules
  • advice and assistance during civil proceedings between regulated and non-regulated parties