The Municipality of Amsterdam has installed passport photo booths in its district offices and has contracted the suppliers of these machines to operate them. In doing so, it carries out an economic activity. This means that the Municipality must adhere to Article 25i of the Dutch Competition Act (Mededingingswet; Mw), also known as the Market and Government Act (Wet Markt en Overheid). The Dutch Photographic Retailers’ Foundation (Stichting Nederlandse Fotovakhandel; SNF) believes that the Municipality of Amsterdam is in breach of this article because it does not meet the requirement of passing on all of the costs. On 22 February 2016 the Consumer & Market Authority (Autoriteit Consument & Markt; ACM) ruled that the Municipality’s calculation of the costs of its services related to the passport photo booths includes the full costs. Therefore, according to the ACM, there is no breach of Article 25i of the Mw.

At the request of SNF, SEO has examined if the conclusions of the ACM’s draft decision are sufficiently substantiated by the information presented in the draft decision. In addition, SEO has looked at what information is required to draw a conclusion about whether or not Article 25i of the Mw has been violated. SEO concludes that the information contained in the ACM’s draft decision is insufficient to determine if the costs have been passed on in their entirety.