Regulated markets / ACM

The business landscape is dynamic and challenging. New opportunities are continuously created. Your task as an entrepreneur is to make strategic decisions. You might be considering joining forces with your competitors, for example, because of the synergy effects or for the sake of innovation. If this is the case, competition law will play a role.

If you plan to merge, or if you want to transfer control of your company, notifying the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) may be required (for example, if specific turnover thresholds are exceeded). We can help you in this respect and advise you about submitting this type of notification. We can also supply the required product information and map out the relevant geographical market for you. Should the ACM ultimately decide that your company needs a licence, we can assist you with your application.

If you are contemplating a joint venture instead of a merger, we can also advise you about how to avoid violating the ban on cartels. Together with you, we carry out a self-assessment focused on your company. This involves determining whether competition is likely to be restricted by the arrangements you wish to make. If this is the case, it is important to examine whether consumers will benefit and whether there is still sufficient competition in the market.

We also advise clients about the abuse of economic market position. If a company has market power, it is simply not allowed as much freedom as its weaker competitors. In addition, we can help you and your employees if the ACM investigates your company. We can also assist you if you wish to conclude an agreement with a distributor, franchisee or licensee. In this type of situation, we ensure that the arrangements you make comply with related European directives so that you can avoid violating the ban on cartels and being fined.

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Procurement law

Do you have to arrange the award of a contract? This can, for example, be the case if you are a government body responsible for constructing a tunnel, or if you are one of the potential contractors for supplying a new software system for the government. The way in which tenders are awarded is subject to a large number of regulations and receives a great deal of media attention. Our procurement law specialists can provide you with excellent advice and assistance in each phase of a tendering procedure.

A tender also frequently raises questions, such as:
• Does a contract have to be put out to tender (within the EU)?
• When are you obliged to put a contract out to tender?
• What is the most suitable tendering procedure for placing the contract on the market?
• How long in advance does a call for tenders have to be made, and what deadlines apply?
During the tendering procedure, the contracting authorities (including government bodies) and bidders need to find answers to questions, such as:
• Does a bid satisfy the set minimum requirements?
• Have the suitability requirements been met?
• Under what circumstances may a tender be supplemented?
• Are you permitted to have insight into other bidders’ tenders?


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Harald Wiersema

Robert van Muijen