It raised my interest as the Finnish Editor of Nordic Competition to read recently that Finland has signed the Nordic competition authorities’ co-operation agreement. I was keen to know why Finland, as a member to the European Competition Network (ECN) and after 15 years of Nordic co-operation, has now decided to enter into the agreement with the fellow Nordics and how this will impact advising clients in my jurisdiction. Here’s what I learned.
At the end of April this year, a Swedish case involving alleged procurement collusion in healthcare markets reached its final conclusion. In a reversal of fortunes for the Swedish Competition Authority (SCA), the Patent and Market Court of Appeal overturned the December 2015 judgment of the Stockholm District Court, exonerating the companies involved (Aleris Diagnostik, Capio S:t Görans Sjukhus*, Hjärtkärlgruppen i Sverige (HKG) (the Parties)).
Lars Sørgard speaks to Nordic Competition
A few weeks ago Lars Sørgard (56) took up his new role as the Director of the Norwegian Competition Authority. A former professor at the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) in Bergen, Mr Sørgard has been the authority’s Chief Economist since last year (after having also held this post from 2004 to 2007). In this interview with Nordic Competition, he signals that the authority is looking for opportunities to go after dominant players and warns media outlets that the crisis in their industry is no excuse for illegal cooperation.
In a landmark decision taken on 24 June 2015, the Danish Competition Council (DCC) held that a consortium which won a public tender was anti-competitive by object. In following the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority’s (DCCA) recommendation, the DCC labelled the consortium as a pricing agreement and a market sharing agreement. The approach taken in the decision would make it very difficult for companies to assess whether a contemplated consortium acts in compliance with competition law.
An antitrust investigation of the Swedish Bankers’ Association which was both opened and closed within the space of the last month raises interesting questions about cooperation in, and recommendations made by, industry associations.
The Swedish Bankers’ Association (“SBA”) (Sw. “Bankföreningen”) released new recommendations to its members on 7 October this year concerning the required level of capital repayment of mortgages (“amortisation”), proposing that all new mortgages should be amortised to the extent they exceed 50% of the value of the property concerned. This followed on earlier recommendations by the SBA on this subject as recently as March this year.