Martijn van de Hel has assisted a manufacturer of traction batteries and its director, in damages proceedings against unlawful conduct of the Authority Consumer & Market (“ACM”).
The ACM had previously imposed a fine of almost €600,000 on the manufacturer for allegedly participating in a cartel. The Rotterdam Court annulled the fine because the ACM had not sufficiently proven that the manufacturer could be regarded as a participant in the offence.
However, after the annulment, the ACM's fining decision and news items about it remained on the ACM's website for another year and a half, without being anonymized and without an adequate reference to the Rotterdam Court's ruling and the annulment of the fining decision. The Court of The Hague ruled in this respect that by failing to timely update the website, the State had acted imputably negligent and thus unlawfully towards the manufacturer. The court awarded immaterial damages to both the manufacturer and its director.