A number of recent European telecoms mergers have highlighted the difficulties in winning merger clearances on efficiency grounds, even where the deal would appear to give rise to obvious efficiencies. A number of mobile network operators, or MNOs, have claimed that joining forces with competing MNOs would give the scale necessary to undertake the very significant investments needed in network upgrades.
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?
Here’s our roundup of the most interesting competition law developments in the Nordic countries in 2016.
The Stockholm District Court has found against the Swedish Competition Authority (SCA) that a non-compete clause lasting five years did not constitute an infringement of competition rules by object, and has further been unable to identify anti-competitive effects. As a result, the Court has refused to impose the fines of around EUR 5 million that the SCA had requested. The SCA announced on the same day the judgment was published that it will appeal the decision to the Market Court.
In an unprecedented move, Norway’s competition authority requests the acquirer of a 34% stake in a rival to submit a merger filing
Shortly after Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager signalled that the Commission may scrap the idea of a notification regime for acquisitions of non-controlling shareholdings, the Norwegian Competition Authority has decided to investigate an acquisition of a non-controlling shareholding of 34%.