• Abuse of a dominant position

Companies with a dominant economic position may not abuse this position. If they do, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) and the European Commission may impose severe fines. So it is important to know whether your company holds a dominant position, and if so, how you can remain a strong force on the market while keeping within the law.

Examples of abuse

Competition law has created a special responsibility for companies with a dominant economic position. For example, these dominant companies are not allowed to offer loyalty discount to their customers, and excessively high prices or prices lower than cost are generally prohibited too. But these are just a few examples, as the concept of abuse is a broad one and may include all kinds of acts.

Fines

In the event of abuse of a dominant position, the ACM and the European Commission may impose fines of up to 10% of the relevant company’s global annual turnover. In addition, the ACM may impose personal fines of up to EUR 450,000 on directors and de facto managers. Neither of these authorities will hesitate to make use of their powers.

Advice and legal assistance

At Ploum, our specialists will help you establish whether your company holds a dominant economic position. We will analyse this in collaboration with reputable economic agencies wherever necessary. If this turns out to be the case, we will advise you – in accordance with the most recent case law – on the commercial discount arrangements and conditions you are allowed to offer your customers. And if a market party, the ACM or the European Commission accuses your organisation of abusing your dominant position, we will advise you and act as your defence counsel in proceedings before the Dutch courts or the other authorities.