Companies are well advised to carefully read the 2014 Procedure for the inspection of digital data (2014 Procedure) before the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) comes knocking.
The District Court of The Hague recently ruled in summary proceedings that the ACM cannot deviate from its own 2014 Procedure when conducting a dawn raid. Contrary to the 2014 Procedure, the ACM had collected data from a number of individuals that were not on the list of employees targeted for inspection handed over to the company during the dawn raid. According to the Court, the 2014 Procedure aims to regulate the ACM's inspection powers and companies subject to an inspection should be able to rely on the ACM to act accordingly. The Court therefore ruled that the data collected from those individuals should be excluded from the investigation.
This article was published in the Competition Law Newsletter of November 2018. Other articles in this newsletter:
- Franchise argument in laundry cartel does not wash with Dutch court
- A problem shared is a problem halved: fine reduction and fine liability are correlated
- Rotterdam District Court rules on follow-on damages claim in relation to Dutch bitumen cartel
- European Court of Justice clarifies the application of choice of forum clauses in competition damages claims