Investigation Launched into Possible ARA Bunker Cartel

Wednesday July 12, 2017

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) today announced that it has launched an investigation into a possible cartel in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) bunker sector after several companies may have carried out illegal price-fixing agreements.

Noting that it has already conducted several dawn raids in the bunker sector, ACM says its investigation was launched after receiving information from the Dutch Public Prosecution Service about the bunker sector coming from the police.

"ACM calls on the public, including employees (current and former) in this sector, to share any tip-offs and indications about possible cartels they might have. They can also share such information anonymously," said ACM

"Companies and individuals that are part of a cartel, can take advantage of the leniency program. If they do, they may qualify for reductions on their fines."

Companies found to have been involved in cartel activities can be fined as much as 40 percent of their combined global turnover, while individuals found to have exercised leadership over cartels can face a maximum fine of €900,000 ($1.03 million).

ACM says it will assess whether the Dutch Competition Act has been violated by investigating actual practices in greater detail over the coming months.

"In the end, ACM could also come to the conclusion that no violation has been committed. However, if a violation has been established, then the parties will be heard first before any violation can be established definitively, possibly followed by a sanction," explained ACM.