Legal aftermath of the public transport tender in Limburg and ACM’s fine

On 22 May 2017, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) concluded that NS had violated the Competition Act and fined NS €40,950,000. NS disagrees with the ruling and the supporting arguments for the decision. The objection that NS filed against the ruling was rejected by the ACM. NS has filed an appeal against this at the Court of Rotterdam.

Investigation by the Public Prosecution Service

The Public Prosecution Service (specifically, the Office for Financial, Economic and Environmental Offences in ‘s-Hertogenbosch) started an investigation in 2015 into possible criminal acts in connection with the tendering process for public transport in Limburg, and a writ of summons was issued for NS Groep NV. On 21 December 2017, the district court of Oost-Brabant acquitted NS of two of the offences with which NS was charged and ruled that the Public Prosecution Service was not allowed to prosecute in the case of a third offence with which NS was charged. This ruling was also made in the cases against the other parties involved, insofar as they were charged with the same offences. The Public Prosecution Service has appealed against the ruling on 21 December 2017. It is still not known when the appeal will be dealt with by the Court of Appeal.