Competition and Market Regulation

Businesses operating in a free market economy are forbidden restrict or abuse their economic freedom to the disadvantage of consumers. When they neglect competition rules they run the risk of incurring a cartel fine – often quite a hefty one. In the Netherlands, the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) safeguards consumers’ rights and ensures compliance with competition law.

Pels Rijcken's attorneys are very experienced in handling competition procedures, also with cases brought before the European Commission. The ACM regularly requires their assistance in procedures brought by market parties concerning cartel decisions or with regard to merger control. Corporate clients also call on Pels Rijcken's competition specialists, for example if they are confronted with a claim for damages following a cartel fine.

Where competition law does not suffice to adequately regulate a market  supplemental regulation  is required. In the telecommunications sector, for instance, EU regulation is deemed necessary in order to promote a fully competitive market  . As far as the energy market is concerned, grid managers have a monopoly on transport of electricity and gas to consumers, and their rates have been regulated to ensure that these consumers pay a competitive priceIn the healthcare sector the rates of healthcare services are regulated in order to keep costs in check.  Another example of a regulated market is the transport sector, where the rates of providers with a dominant position, such as Schiphol or the registered pilots, are regulated by market forces.

Pels Rijcken has specialised attorneys with years of experience in these fields. They advise supervisory authorities on the formulation of - often complex - regulatory decisions, and have defended dozens of regulatory decisions in court. An important part of their work is understanding the technology of the sectors and the economic principles upon which the regulation is founded. And they are second to none when it comes to understanding the aspects of administrative law involved. They are therefore always able to offer a valuable contribution whenever they act on behalf of supervisory authorities.


  • "I feel in very good hands with them, and particularly underlines that the lawyers are "very experienced and you see that. They come in with their own ideas proactively and explain their strategies.", Chambers Europe 2020
  • Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn NV’s excellent and pragmatic team has a significant practice representing private clients in cartel damages proceedings, merger filings and advisory work, as well as government representation.", Legal 500 2019
  • "Clients value the firm's very broad knowledge of EU law.", Chambers Europe 2019
  • "Sources also emphasise that the team's advice is quick, efficient and very useful.", Chambers Europe 2019
  • "The team is very hands-on and has specialised expertise in all relevant fields.", Chambers Europe 2018
  • "Pels Rijcken's extremely competent, very responsive' team is fun to work with.", Legal 500 2018
  • "Clients are very enthusiastic about the firm, stating: They were outstanding - their co-operation with us is close and cost-effective.", Chambers Europe 2017
  • "The lawyers work accurately and deliver good and practical products.", Chambers Europe 2016
  • "The team can combine quick work with a large amount of expertise.", Chambers Europe 2016
  • "The team did a great job, was quick, responsive and really to the point. It is our preferred firm for state aid questions.", Chambers Europe 2015
  • "The overall level of service is really outstanding. The advice is given within extremely short time limits and takes into account the political background of the case.", Chambers Europe 2015
  • "The accurate and proactive lawyers at Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn NV demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of EU law", Legal 500 2015