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De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek | Netherlands | 4 Dec 2014

Court dismisses €1 billion abuse of dominance claim

A district court recently dismissed a €1 billion damages claim that Europe Container Terminals brought against the Rotterdam Port Authority. The ruling underlines the need for claimants to make thorough market analyses and well-substantiated arguments in damages claims with regard to abuse of dominance claims.
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De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek | Netherlands | 27 Nov 2014

Courts take stance on cartel damage claims

Two recent rulings show that Dutch courts are willing to take a stance on cartel damage claims. A district court recently confirmed the civil liability of cartel participants and their group entities in the gas-insulated switchgear cartel, while another district court rejected a request for provisional witness hearings in an air freight case.
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De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek | Netherlands | 16 Oct 2014

ACM: a lean, mean, streamlined machine

Following the Streamlining Act, a single body has replaced the competition, consumer and telecommunications regulators: the Authority for Consumers and Markets. The act also introduces a number of changes concerning merger control, appeals against fines and employees' right to remain silent in case of an investigation against their former employer.
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De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek | Netherlands | 9 Oct 2014

Want to confess your involvement in a cartel? Check your timing

The Rotterdam District Court recently ruled that the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) should have granted a leniency applicant full immunity from fines after it confessed to its involvement in a cartel. The ACM argued that the leniency applicant was eligible only for a fine reduction instead of full immunity, because the ACM had launched an investigation into the cartel before the......
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De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek | Netherlands | 31 Jul 2014

District court anchors follow-on damages claim in the Netherlands

The District Court of Amsterdam recently found itself competent to rule on damages claims against the non-Dutch participants of a sodium chlorate cartel through anchor defendant Akzo Nobel. The arbitration and choice of forum clauses laid down in the customer contracts did not alter this. Companies should keep in mind that they cannot always rely on these clauses in cartel damages claims.
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De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek | Netherlands | 24 Jul 2014

Tribunal quashes fine for breaking seal affixed in dawn raid

The Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal recently ruled that the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) was wrong to fine the Dutch National Association of General Practitioners (LHV) for breaking a seal affixed by ACM officials during a dawn raid. According to the tribunal, the breaking of the seal could not be attributed to LHV and it therefore quashed the fine.
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De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek | Netherlands | 26 Jun 2014

De minimis and bid rigging: tribunal clarifies market share calculation

According to a recent decision of the Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal, the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) was wrong to find that the relevant market should be limited to each individual tender project when applying the national de minimis clause to systematic bid-rigging cartels. The tribunal also clarified that the five-year limitation period relates only to the ACM's power to......
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De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek | Netherlands | 5 Jun 2014

ACM can base cartel fine on EU-wide turnover instead of Dutch turnover

The Rotterdam District Court has upheld the way in which the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) calculated the fines imposed on a number of companies for participating in a silverskin onion cartel. The cartel participants generated 60% of their combined turnover within the European Union. For the first time, the ACM based the fines imposed on the cartel participants' EU-wide turnover......
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De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek | Netherlands | 5 Jun 2014

Court rules cartel confessions unreliable and overturns fines

The Rotterdam District Court has overturned the fines imposed on Pilkington and Scheuten for their participation in a double glazing cartel. This ruling has far-reaching consequences for how the ACM should accumulate evidence based on leniency statements. The ACM should limit itself to what leniency applicants can state by their own account.
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De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek | Netherlands | 24 Apr 2014

How the cookie crumbled – court upholds blocked bakery merger

The Rotterdam District Court has upheld a Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) decision to prohibit a transaction between two rival baking companies due to a high combined market share on the Dutch rusk market. Parties thus should not count on the ACM to take earlier precedents to heart when defining relevant markets.
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