The EU Commission has halted the planned regulation of wholesale access to fibre-optic broadband in Sweden, as it doesn’t approve of the suggested geographical market definition of a national market due to local heterogeneity in conditions and competition. In other news, former Commissioner Monti says protectionist member states are to blame for lack of European champions, the SCA has adopted an updated priority policy, the Commission has approved state-aid to EV charging in Romania, and OECD has published ananalysis and assessment of the proposals on BEPS
Com Hem claims that Telia is violating its merger commitments, i.e. approval conditions, by restricting competitor’s access to Bonnier Broadcasting’s AVOD and SVOD streaming services in Sweden. In other news, the Swedish Patent and Market Court of Appeal has referred back a case on anti-competitive activities by a public entity, the Commission has fined NBCUniversal for vertical agreements, the SCA has ended its investigation of Lyko, and PTS has drafted rules for submission of information by parcel delivery service providers in Sweden.
The dairy producers looking to acquire control of three Swedish hard cheese brands have had their case rejected by the Swedish Patent and Market Court, following the previous prohibition by the Swedish Competition Agency. In other news, new guidelines on State aid related to the Emission Trading System are on consultation, the Synthomer-Omnova merger is approved following a divesture, patients who don’t chose a healthcare provider are difficult to handle in Sweden, and the postal services sector will require policy changes to ensure that there is a viable operator.
The Swedish Competition Authority concluded that there are “unreasonable differences” in fees paid by different municipal housing companies to ensure that they are ran on commercial terms. In other news, the Swedish competition authority has initiated a special investigation of the Easypark – ‘SMS Park’ merger, the Commission approved state aid to a Swedish testbed for electromobility and to a Swedish seafarer scheme.
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.