In March 2018, the Court of Amsterdam ruled that the conduct of our client NVM (the Dutch Association of Real Estate Brokers) did not distort competition in the downstream market, following a complaint by rival real estate trade association VBO. VBO alleged that NVM abused its dominant position by means of discriminatory treatment of rival estate agents on NVM’s website Funda, for instance by lower ranking in search results. VBO alleged that this treatment distorted competition in the underlying estate agent market as Funda favored NVM members. The Court of Amsterdam, which hired three independent economic experts, found that NVM’s online real estate portal Funda was dominant, but decided, based on quantitative analysis, that there were no indications of distortive effects in the downstream market.
Compass Lexecon provided economic advice to NVM, focusing on market definition in the Dutch real estate market, the assessment of dominance and its potential abuse by examining the actual and potential effects of NVM’s conduct. The Compass Lexecon team included Jorge Padilla, Nadine Watson, Bernardo Sarmento, and Sergey Khodjamirian.