Martijn van de Hel successfully represented an energy supplier in appealing a fine of EUR 1.25 million imposed by the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (“ACM”).
ACM had imposed the fine on the energy supplier on the grounds that it had allegedly offered energy contracts with excessively termination fees to self-employed persons who work from home. ACM believed that self-employed persons or other small business owners are entitled to consumer protection if they are supplied with energy at their home address and use that energy predominantly for private purposes.
The Rotterdam Court has ruled that ACM did not have the authority to impose a fine in the event of such a breach. In the court’s opinion, the law does not clearly provide that ACM may distinguish between small businesses and consumers. The court therefore annulled the EUR 1.25 million fine in its entirety.
Maverick Advocaten had previously also been involved in the annulment of a fine imposed on a fashion web shop on the grounds that ACM had acted contrary to the prohibition of arbitrariness.
More information on the consumer rules and ACM can be found at consumentenrecht.info.