Martijn van de Hel has assisted Port Towage Amsterdam (PTA), a joint venture between towage companies Svitzer and Iskes, during an investigation started by the Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) into a potential violation of the cartel prohibition.
The ACM signalled that the cooperation is at odds with the competition rules. To prevent the risks signalled by the ACM from materializing, Svitzer and Iskes have explored various options and decided in the end to cancel the joint venture. Svitzer takes over PTA, including the tow boats and crew which it previously hired from Iskes, and agreed not to increase the port towage fees by more than inflation for the next four years. The ACM did not establish a violation.
The ACM holds that companies that express the intention to start a new enterprise, should indeed establish a joint venture which operates independently from the mother companies. According to ACM, joint ventures are not to be used to circumvent the competition rules. Read about the press release here.
Svitzer and Iskes were represented by Kees Schillemans (Allen & Overy) and Ruben Elkerbout (Stek) respectively.
For all information about dawn raids by the ACM, visit invalacm.nl (Dutch).