Dr. Mattias Ganslandt and MSc Gunilla Rönnholm at the Center for European Law and Economics have within the frame of the Swedish Competition Authority’s commissioned research, analyzed the effects of mergers and acquisitions in the retail market for gasoline in Sweden. This study describes and analyzes the extent to which mergers and acquisitions in the retail market for gasoline in Sweden have had a noticeable effect on prices and margins for gasoline and diesel. The main objective of the study is to examine how consumer prices have been affected by the increased market concentration, especially after Statoil’s merger with Hydro in 2007 and StatoilHydro’s subsequent acquisition of the JET stations in 2008-2009. Continue reading
In April, the Swedish Market Court ruled that telecom operator TeliaSonera engaged in margin squeeze in the broadband market during the period April 2000–January 2003. The judgement upheld a previous judgement by the Stockholm District Court made in December 2011 and was widely expected to. However, the Market Court’s decision substantially reduced the severity of the imposed fines due to the competition authority failing to satisfy the burden of proof. As professor Lars Henriksson (CELEC’s Vice Chairman) explains, this raises a number interesting legal questions and precedents related to the standard of proof in Swedish competition law cases.
For the fourth consecutive year, the Center for European Law and Economics has conducted an extensive survey of legal experts to construct the 2013 Global Merger Control Index. The index compares 65 jurisdictions based on the responses of 192 legal experts, specialising in competition and anti-trust.
A new provision in the Swedish Competition Law, prohibiting anti-competitive sales activities by public entities, leaves considerable room for interpretation. A recent ruling by the Stockholm District Court indicates that this new part of the Swedish Competition Law is fundamentally effects-based, and that a sound economic analysis is important for the legal assessment, writes CELEC’s chairman Professor Sten Nyberg in this article. Continue reading
In a recent paper on Article 102 cases, Dr Malte Abel and Mr Peter Willis review pricing abuse cases in the European energy sector between January 2010 and September 2012. The authors conclude that an interesting feature of the national competition authorities (NCAs) investigations has been the focus on narrow geographic and product markets. The authors also conclude that a number of cases highlight ongoing concerns about restrictions of competition resulting from the control of network infrastructure. Continue reading
This week CELEC’s Vice Chairman, Professor Lars Henriksson, discusses the recent ruling of the Swedish Market Court against KIA Motors and the tensions which it highlights. The case finds that KIA Motors’ seven year warranty policy – which entails that a warranty is only maintained if the customer uses an approved dealer or repairer – restricts competition in the after-sales market and hence should be prohibited. However, this is in contradiction with the SCA assessment, who decided not to proceed, and raises the question of whether there is a disparity between the two institutions’ interpretation of the law.
A recent investigation by the Swedish Competition Authority (SCA) into a merger between Bokia and Akademibokhandeln concluded that the change in market concentration would not harm effective competition. Continue reading