Sustainability initiatives often benefit from or even require cooperation. But cooperation can lead to competition law concerns.
The Dutch competition authority (ACM) has over the years shown its openness to sustainability initiatives. It adopted a prioritisation policy in 2016 in which it stated that it would not taken action against initiatives which were widely supported, unless there was a complaint. More recently it has also published guidelines providing more clarity as to what is permissible and lessening the risk of a fine in the case of a bona fide initiative which is held not to be permissible.
We have broad experience in sustainability projects and assist our clients in investigating and substantiating the advantages of their (planned) sustainability projects. We have been monitoring the developments in this field and the conflict between the need for cooperation and the principle under competition law that companies should determine their actions independently of each other. We regularly publish articles on the subject.