On 11 April 2013, Chris Fonteijn, chairman of the Netherlands Consumer and Market Authority (ACM), presented three documents setting out ACM's main activities: a strategy document, a market vision and the 2013 priorities. The ACM was created on 1 April 2013 as a successor to the NMa, the OPTA and the Consumer Authority.
In its Strategy document, the ACM describes its mission as: "promoting opportunities and choices for businesses and consumers". ACM's core values are: independence, openness and professionalism. According to Fonteijn, the new organization should operate in as flexible a fashion as possible: more prioritization between cases, more cooperation with other supervisors, and more flexibility when it comes to the choice between various instruments: regulation, administrative enforcement and informal settlement.
The tasks of the ACM are carried out by four departments:
- a Consumer department combining all previous consumer tasks of the Consumer Authority, the NMa and the OPTA;
- an Energy department, which is responsible for the supervision of the energy and drinking water sectors;
- a Telecommunications, Transport and Postal Services department, with regulatory powers in respect of these sectors; and
- a Competition department, which applies the Dutch Competition Act.
In its Market vision, the ACM describes the market developments that it intends to monitor closely in the near future.
- In the financial sector, the crisis and the increased regulatory pressure, including state aid law, should not result in a weakening of competition.
- Within the agricultural and food sector, the ACM draws attention to the price pressure on agricultural products, the buying power of supermarkets, high consumer prices and the desire to achieve sustainable production.
- In the area of healthcare, the ICM identifies the consolidation of health insurance companies, high prices charged to healthcare suppliers, the different types of cooperation between hospitals, and the increased competition resulting from the expansion of the healthcare segment where prices are no longer fixed.
- Regarding the telecommunications sector, the ACM focuses on computer crime, the availability of broadband and the auctioning of 4G frequencies.
- The postal market is characterized by a combination of liberalization and declining volumes.
- Within the transport sector, work is being done on further railway liberalization.
- And finally energy, a sector in which the ACM aims to monitor the integration of European wholesale electricity markets, the desire for sustainability, the network management and new retail models.
Based on this vision, the ACM has formulated the following 2013 Priorities:
- Barriers to entry in the mortgage market;
- High purchasing costs for pharmaceutical products and medical devices;
- Forms of cooperation regarding sustainability;
- The application of the Dutch law regulating commercial activities carried out by public sector entities;
- Transition from basic broadband to fast broadband;
- Enhancing competition in mobile telephony;
- More transparency for consumers;
- Protection against aggressive B2C sale methods;
- A secure internet;
- A single billing system for energy products;
- Integration of the wholesale energy market; and
- Affordable and reliable energy networks.
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