Pieter Kalbfleisch, the NMa’s chairman, took the announcement of the NMa’s 2008 annual bulletin as an opportunity to warn undertakings not to use the current economic crisis as a cover for illegal cartel agreements.1

The NMa appreciates that undertakings meet up to discuss the economic crisis. However, these meetings should not result in the conclusion of anti-competitive agreements. The recent dawn raid at a number of construction companies in the 1 NMa press release of 28 January 2009. south of the Netherlands proves the NMa means business.2

The NMa’s annual bulletin precedes the NMa’s annual report and provides a first insight into the NMa’s activities in 2008. According to the bulletin, the NMa, in 2008, imposed fines totalling EUR 9 million for violations of the Dutch Competition Act. In 2008, the NMa also issued 11 reports on suspected violations, dealt with 29 complaints, decided on 119 concentrations and handled 154 appeals against NMa decisions. An overview of decisions on concentrations and fines taken by the NMa since 2000 is provided below.

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In regard of the energy sector, the bulletin states that an NMa study on the profits of network operators led to lower 2008 tariffs.