An investigation has been launched into a possible cartel in the bunker sector in the Netherlands and Belgium, according to the Dutch competition authority.
This investigation involves several companies that are active in the ports of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp, which may have concluded illegal price-fixing agreements, according to the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM).
The Dutch Public Prosecution Service provided ACM with valuable information about the bunker sector coming from the police. That information was one of the reasons to launch this investigation. ACM has already conducted several dawn raids in this sector.
Fines for cartel activities imposed on companies can be as high as 40 percent of their combined global turnover. The maximum fine on individuals that have exercised leadership over cartels is EUR 900,000.
In the coming months, ACM will assess whether the Dutch Competition Act has indeed been violated by investigating the actual practices in greater detail.