Information Exchange between Authorities: Enhancing Enforcement
11 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2015
Date Written: May 16, 2014
The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) was created on the 1st of April 2013 following the consolidation of the Netherlands Consumer Authority (CA), the Netherlands Independent Post and Telecommunications Authority (OPTA) and the Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa). ACM is an independent organisation with the powers and obligations of the three authorities that it replaces. As a multidisciplinary authority, we are testing how we can develop innovative methods in all three areas in order to identify market failures that harm consumer welfare and find cures for those failures. For ACM, information exchange is an important market-oversight tool. This tool has developed from being a spin-off of the authority’s international contacts to a central enforcement strategy both at national and international levels.
There are different layers of information exchange between authorities: cooperation between the competition authority and other national authorities (other regulatory authorities, tax offices etc.); and cooperation between competition authorities at an international level. In this article, we set out some of the issues for information exchange between authorities from the perspective of the national competition authority. The main issues we have to deal with in the context of information exchange at ACM are those of confidentiality and due process. We also give examples of cases in which information has been exchanged between competition authorities within the EU’s European Competition Network (ECN).
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