The ACM may impose an incremental penalty payment or a fine up to a certain statutory limit. Originally this limit was set at €450,000 or 10% of the annual turnover of the company that violated competition law, but in 2016 the Dutch legislator broadened these maxima (please see below). The ACM may also impose fines on individuals who gave instructions or exercised de facto leadership in the realisation and conclusion of restrictive agreements between companies.
As of 1 July 2016, legislative changes have taken effect, increasing the statutory maxima listed above. These legislative changes apply only to infringements that have been committed the legislative changes have entered into force.
The main alterations to the limitation include:
- An increase of the maximum fine (absolute amount) from €450,000 to €900,000 (the 10% annual turnover limit remains the same),
- A multiplication of the maximum fine by the number of years that the cartel infringement has lasted (with a maximum of four years and a minimum of one year),
- And an additional 100% increase of the maximum fine in case of recidivism.