December 1997 / January 1998

New Dutch Competition Act: Culture shock in the Netherlands

01 December 1997

Ten years ago the Netherlands was known as the ‘cartel paradise’ of Europe; indeed there are still a disproportionate number of Dutch cases before the European Commission. But over the last decade Dutch business has been faced with a complete change of culture, which has swung from the government-condoned collusion of the 1980s to the point where Parliament has approved an Act thought by many to be the ‘most important piece of legislation this century’, and established an independent authority with real teeth - and the apparent willingness to use them. Fenella Quinn investigates how the Dutch business and legal community is coping.