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.
The Swedish Competition Authority has lost its court case against Swedavia, the owner of Stockholm Arlanda Airport, for alleged abuse of dominance. The District Court has found that while there was an abuse of dominance, it was objectively justified and therefore no damages have been imposed. The Authority has chosen not to appeal the decision.
A recap of the story
Previously we reported on this blog about the action raised by the Swedish Competition Authority (SCA) against Swedavia for alleged abuse of dominance – see here.
As some of you are aware, Finland has proceeded to a final phase to implement the EU Directive on antitrust damages actions. A government bill for an entirely new act on antirust damages actions (No. 83/2016) is before the national parliament at the moment. The minimum requirements to be adopted by the Act are well known but the proposal is not one-to-one aligned with the Directive. Here’s a brief note on the proposed key national particularities:
Access to a public file is of great interest in many cases. Obviously, parties to a matter are interested in knowing the reason why they are under investigation, including the arguments presented by any complainant. Third parties may also have an interest in getting access to file, e.g. to support a complaint or to pursue follow on claims. In Denmark, the rules on access to file are generally very flexible, meaning that it is usually easy to get access to file. In competition matters, however, the rules on access to file are stricter. The Danish Competition Appeals Board (“CAB”) has recently confirmed that third parties’ access to file is very limited under the Danish Competition Act. Furthermore, the CAB has confirmed that the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (“DCCA”) was right when it redacted information from a file before allowing the investigated party access to the file. The redaction served to protect the identity of the complainant, which both the DCCA and the CAB considered essential in order to avoid the risk of retaliation toward the complainant. Finally, the CAB has confirmed that the definition of a party to a matter under the Danish Competition Act is very narrow. The recent decisions by the CAB underline that third parties should not expect to be granted access to file regarding cases investigated by the DCCA and that even parties to a matter may have to accept that information is redacted from the file.
Exclusive Interview with Nordic Competition
On the first anniversary of her appointment as European Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager has taken time to speak to Nordic Competition about her role as the head of the EU’s competition enforcement agency. Mrs Vestager tells us about the influence she brings to her role and to DG COMP, gives her views on coordination of EU NCA competition investigations and the future of EU telecoms consolidation, and reveals that she does in fact use Google.