Martijn van de Hel has successfully represented Midac (an importer of traction batteries) in the appeal proceedings against a fine of almost €600,000 imposed on Midac by the Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (“ACM”) for alleged participation in a cartel. According to ACM, Midac had made price-fixing agreements with competitors. ACM claimed that the objective of those agreements was to incorporate in a structural manner the widely fluctuating price of lead into the retail price of batteries.
The Rotterdam Court reversed the fine imposed on Midac, on the grounds that ACM had insufficiently proven that Midac could be considered a participant in the offence. It had not been established, for instance, that Midac subscribed to the general objectives of the cartel. The Court therefore considered it insufficiently proven that Midac could be regarded as a participant in the offence.