Amsterdam Center for Law & Economics

Merging Market Authorities: Mix & Match, 1 December 2011

01Dec2011 12:00 - 17:00


The University of Amsterdam’s Amsterdam Center for Law and Economics (ACLE) & Research Group Market Regulation jointly present a workshop on Thursday, 1 December 2011 12.30-17.00 hours Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation Bezuidenhoutseweg 30 2594 AV Den Haag Main Hall

Introduction to the Topic

With determination, the Dutch cabinet is preparing an institutional merger between the Dutch competition authority (NMa), the telecom regulator (OPTA) and the consumer authority (CA). The integration is scheduled to take effect on January 1st, 2013, and expected to generate significant synergies in terms of shared expertise and resources. The objective is to create an agency which has broad oversight of markets across the economy and which is capable of reacting more efficiently and effectively to market developments.

However, the integration of sector-specific and generic regulators raises fundamental questions, for example with regard to the independence of the integrated authority, the alignment of objectives, and the fit of legal and economic tools of enforcement. The reorganization will have to build on currently divergent supervisory approaches. The new agency must integrate different objectives, legal competences and processes of supervision within the confines of relevant national and EU law, as well as sort out the allocation of human and financial resources. Experiences with similar operations elsewhere, for example in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, have been mixed. Accordingly, a strong institutional design for the new super-market overseer is paramount.

This workshop offers an opportunity for a plenary discussion on the merger’s impact on the quality of supervision. Leading academics in public governance, law and economics will introduce various aspects of setting up a successful integrated market authority. There will be ample opportunity for discussion with the floor. The workshop will be of interest to officials, practitioners, lawyers and consultants, as well as academics.

The workshop is chaired by Maarten Pieter Schinkel and Adrienne de Moor-van Vugt of the University of Amsterdam.


To download the full program of this workshop, please click on the following attachment.


Mark Dierikx is Director-General Energy, Telecom and Competition at the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation (EL&I). He was appointed 1 July 2011. Previously, he held positions in various Dutch Ministries, including as DG Foreign Economic Relations, DG Water, and DG Aviation and Maritime Affairs.

Chris Fonteijn is Chairman of the Board of the NMa since July 2011 and the intended Chairman of the new regulatory authority after the merger. Until then, he will also continue to hold his position of Chairman of the Commission of OPTA, which he has held since September 2005. Mr Fonteijn previously was a partner at NautaDutilh.

Saskia Lavrijssen is Professor of Consumer and Energy at the Faculty of Law of the University of Amsterdam. She is affiliated with the Amsterdam Centre for Energy.

Stavros Zouridis is Professor of Public Administration in the School of Politics and Public Administration of Tilburg University.

Martin Cave holds the BP Centennial Chair at the London School of Economics, based part-time in the Department of Law. Professor Cave is co-author, together with Richard Baldwin (LSE) of The Oxford Handbook of Regulation, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2010.


Participation is free of charge, but registration is required (before November 15th) as the number of available places is limited.

Registration is closed.

For further information, please contact the ACLE office at:

Relevant documents

Below are a number of documents and links that are relevant to the merger process.

- Column 'Het Marktwerkingspaleis', door M.P. Schinkel, in: Markt & Mededinging (jaargang 4), Augustus 2011, p.138-139.

-  Kamerstukken II, 2010/11, 31 490, nr. 55 - Brief van het Ministerie van Economische Zaken, Landbouw en Innovatie, 28 Maart 2011.

-  Kamerstukken II, 2010/11, 31 490, nr. 69 -  Brief van het Ministerie van Economische Zaken, Lanbouw en Innovatie, 8 Juli 2011.

-  Kamerstukken II, 2010/11, 31 490, nr. 70 - Verslag van een algemeen overleg, 19 Juli 2011.

-  Kamerstukken II, 2010/11, 31 490, nr. 72 - Brief van het Ministerie van Economische Zaken, Landbouw en Innovatie, 3 Oktober 2011.

-  Kamerstukken II, 2010/11, 31 490, nr. 73 - Verslag van een algemeen overleg, 11 Oktober 2011. 

- Artikel 'Voeg toezichthouders NMa, OPTA, NZa en Consumentenautoriteit samen', door B. Baarsma en M. Snoep, op:, 22, oktober 2010, (

-Artikel 'Op weg naar de nieuwe marktautoriteit', door E.H. Pijnacker Hordijk, in: Markt & Mededinging (jaargang 4), Augustus 2011, p.121-123.

- Artikel 'Een goede toezichthouder wordt gehaat', door S. van Wijnbergen, in: NRC Handelsblad, 1 Oktober, p. 4-5.

- Oxera Agenda 'Merging the merger authorities', July 2011
( ).

- Article 'Does the Competition Commission care enough about Competition?, by M. Cave, in: Utilities Law Review, 16 (2006-2007)4, p.151-152.

- Article 'Consumentenautoriteit is niet langer bang te worden overstemd bij fusie OPTA en NMa', by N. Trappenburg, in: Het Financieele Dagblad, 7 November 2011, p.3.

- Article 'Met het nieuwe toezicht valt te praten, by Cees Banning, in: NRC Handelsblad, 3 Maart 2012, Economie, p.4-5

-  Kamerstukken II, 2011/12, 33 186, nr. 4 - Wetsvoorstel inz. Instellingswet Autoriteit Consument en Markt, 27 Januari 2012. 

- Article 'ACM Onafhankelijk?", door Nico van Eijk, in: Nederlands Juristenblad (Opinie), afl. 44-45, 16 December 2011, p.2252.

Speeches and slides

- Opening Workshop
- Speech M.P. Schinkel
- Speech M. Dierikx
- Speech C.A. Fonteijn
- Presentation S. Lavrijssen
- Presentation K. Cseres
- Presentation M. Cave


Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation
Bezuidenhoutseweg 30
2594 AV  Den Haag
Main Hall

Published by  ACLE