Increase of maximum fines under Electricity Act 1998 and Gas Act one step closer
On 24 November 2015, the Second Chamber of the Dutch parliament adopted a bill to increase the maximum fines that can be levied by the Dutch competition supervisor. The bill substantially increases the maximum fines for violations of, among other things, the Electricity Act 1998 and Gas Act. According to the Minister of Economic Affairs, the reason for the proposed modifications is that the current maximum fines lack a deterrent effect. The proposal increases the maximum fine to EUR 900,000 for relatively minor violations as well as for serious infringements. As a consequence, for minor violations a maximum fine of EUR 900,000 would be possible (currently, the maximum is EUR 450,000) or 1% of the infringer’s annual turnover, whichever is greater. For serious infringements, the bill includes a maximum fine of EUR 900,000 or 10% of the infringer’s annual turnover, whichever is greater. Finally, for repeated violations, the bill proposes doubling the maximum fines. This increase concerns both the absolute and the relative maximum amount: EUR 900,000 would become EUR 1,800,000, 1% of the turnover would become 2%, and 10% of the turnover would become 20%.
The bill still has to be approved by the Senate of the Dutch parliament. Please see read more for links to the Bill and the Explanatory Memorandum (in Dutch only).