Government does too little to stop unfair competition by state firms

The government has not done enough to combat unfair competition from state-owned companies in the private sector, according to consumer authority ACM.

The new law was introduced last July and states that government firms are not allowed to influence the market. However, government bodies are not sufficiently aware of the regulations and are competing unfairly in a number of sectors, the ACM says.

‘Take commercial property rental, collecting company waste and renting out sports facilities,’ ACM spokeswoman Anita Vegter told website nu.nl. ‘We urge the government to check if the rules are being properly adhered to.’

The ACM says 60% of state-run firms have not yet made changes to ensure they comply with the law. Firms have been given until July 2014 to meet the new conditions.

Criticism

The Financieele Dagblad reported last month that national government is distorting the market in several sectors by competing unfairly with private companies.

In particular, activities which the government has privatised in the transport, printing, IT and advisory sectors are now facing competition from new government bodies, the FD said.

These include, for example, the new government printing office VijfKeerBlauw which the state has set up and which is competing with privatised printing service SDU. The government has also set up its own courier service IPKD and a number of advisory and training bodies.


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