Netherlands: Sustainability and competition: from hot topic to business as usual?

The Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has adopted a final policy rule offering insight on how it applies competition rules to sustainability agreements. Notably, the ACM maintains its focus on sustainability and competition, indicating its intentions to depart from the EU Commission's guidelines in two specific scenarios. Firstly, when businesses agree to comply with a binding national or European rule even if not fully implemented or enforced, and secondly when businesses agree to achieve environmental goals even if consumers are not fully compensated for the effects of the agreement. the cases that the ACM has assessed so far on the basis of its draft guidelines were not very spectacular or ground-breaking from a competition law perspective. Without the application of the draft guidelines, the cases would most likely still fall outside the scope of the cartel prohibition. Now that the dust has settled and the competition law assessment of sustainability agreements is more clear one could be tempted to conclude that the practical relevance of the sustainability policy seems limited.

Read the full article on the Kluwer competition law blog

For more information, please contact Pauline Kuipers, Tialda Beetstra and Joost van Roosmalen.

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