In the Netherlands several indivuals and small companies were fined by the Dutch telecom and postal watchdog OPTA for sending out spam. They levied fines as high as 42,500EUR ($57,540).
OPTA said in a statement on Tuesday the fines were for spam -- a term widely used for unsolicited commercial e-mails, often hawking products to combat sexual dysfunction or promote weight loss -- sent to both mobile phones and to e-mail addresses.
The fines were the first by OPTA against spammers. The body said they were levied in line with tougher European Union standards to combat a problem that is estimated to cost European businesses upwards of 2.5 billion euros a year.
In 2002 the EU tried to stop spam by introducing a ban on unsolicited e-mails, but the law is weakly enforced and multiple countries haven't even introduced it yet.