The EU Commission has approved Gategroup’s acquisition oftheEuropean business of Lufthansa Service Group subject to commitments to divest overlapping in-flight catering services. In other news, the SCA has decided to not investigate Tesla’s exclusive after-market services and PTS has suggested that municipality-owned entities should be allowed to provide broadband services in nearby areas. The Commission and the SCA have published further guidelines on issues related to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The SCA has approved Gasum’s acquisition of some of Linde AG’s assets after a commitment to 3rd party access to the LNG-terminal in Nynäshamn, in what hasbeen described as a “phase-one-and-a-half-investigation”. The SCA has also approved the Easypark-‘SMS park’-merger on market entry possibilities and has filed a report evaluating 10 years of legislation against anti-competitive activities by public entities, PTS is ordering a railway construction to coordinate with Skanova, and the Commission has adopted a Temporary Framework for COVID-19 state aid.
The Swedish Competition Authority has ended its investigation of a Gothenburg municipality owned mobile payment solution for parking services, once again failing to achieve anymeaningful results against anti-competitive activities by public entities. The SCA has also ended its investigations of Trustly and Svenska Spel for abusing dominant positions. In other news, the European Commission presents a roadmap towards an innovative internal energy market, a SCA survey finds lack of monitoring a major problem in public procurement, and an IFN paper finds that local corruption has a strong deterring effect on potential entrepreneurs.
The Swedish Patent and Market Court of Appeal has overturned previous decisions, ruling that FTI didn’t abuse its dominant position when restricting access to its infrastructure, arguing that it wasn’t an essential facility as downstream competitor TMR could establish its own network of public recycling stations. In other news, the Court of Appeal upheld the interim prohibition of Bruce’s exclusive agreements, the Commission approved the Assa Abloy – Agta Record merger subject to conditions, the SCA has ended its investigation of the music instrument market, and the SCA has extended yet another phase-I-investigation.
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.