INTERVIEW WITH FINLAND’S NEW HEAD OF MERGER CONTROL

Photo: The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority

The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) got a new head of merger control, Ms Sanna Syrjälä, at the beginning of 2017. In this interview with Nordic Competition, she urges parties to engage in early and realistic pre-notification discussions and highlights the increased significance of econometrics in effects analyses.

You have a background as a head of research in the FCCA’s department responsible for cartels and other behavioural competition law enforcement. Why did you choose to move your focus to merger control, and how will your experience be of use in your new position?

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2016: This happened in the Nordics

Here’s our roundup of the most interesting competition law developments in the Nordic countries in 2016.

Mergers

  • Non-compete clause. The Stockholm District Court found against the Swedish Competition Authority that a non-compete clause lasting five years did not constitute an infringement of competition rules by object, and was further unable to identify anti-competitive effects. As a result, the Court refused to impose the fines of around EUR 5 million that the SCA had requested. The Patent and Market Court will hear the authority’s appeal in September 2017.

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Book Review: Between Regulation and Deregulation

In the fall 2016, Associated Professor at the University of Copenhagen, Christian Bergqvist, published a study on the limitations of competition law and its ambiguous application to the supply of electricity and telecommunications in the EU. The publication analyses the impact of competition law in the electricity and telecommunications sectors across the EU. The general perception is that competition law has played a limited role in the electricity and telecoms markets. “Between Regulation and Deregulation” rebuts the presumption but then offers some words of caution on the matter, as competition law is not well equipped to deal with some of the unique forms of market power in these sectors. Nordic Competition Blog has been invited to review the publication.    

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Mind the Gap: Another Hurdle for Damages Claims in the EEA?

Guest post by Elisabeth Lian Haugsdal

Photo: Kevin George/Shutterstock

We are delighted to publish a post written by Elisabeth Lian Haugsdal. Elisabeth currently works as a Legal Officer at EFTA in Brussels and is one of the true experts on the peculiarities of the EEA Agreement, the agreement that extends the effect of most EU legislation to include Norway and the other EFTA countries (except Switzerland). As always, the views expressed on this blog are personal and covered by the disclaimer.

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Danish court increases fine level

Just before Christmas, the Danish Court of Holstebro fined the company Canett A/S for infringing the Danish Competition Act. The ruling was the first under the new Danish fine regime, which is designed to increase the fine level by a factor of 10. The Canett case did not go that far but the fine level was heavily increased, and other businesses have been warned that fines for infringing the Danish Competition Act are about to reach a new level. Canett was fined DKK 600,000 for instructing one dealer to apply binding resale prices.  

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