The Competition Appeals Tribunal has overruled a decision of the Competition Council which found that the Danish Pharmaceutical Association had violated Section 6 of the Competition Act and Article 81 of the EC Treaty. The tribunal held that as the pharmaceutical market is highly regulated, it was not possible for the wholesalers to compete on price, quality or product diversity, but instead only on services and cost-based discounts.
The Competition Authority recently published the Danish Competition Report for 2007. The report highlights that mergers that could have possible detrimental effects on competition are exempt from the Danish merger control rules due to the high threshold values, which are among the highest in the European Union.
Following dawn raids on a number of Danish banks, the Competition Council has issued a ruling concluding that seven Danish banks had violated the Competition Act by participating in a cartel for a period of several years. The council found that the banks had participated in a market-sharing agreement by dividing customers geographically.
The Competition Appeal Board has repealed a ruling of the Competition Council that Viasat's business terms did not violate Sections 6 and 11 of the Competition Act, which deal with anti-competitive behaviour and correspond to Articles 81 and 82 of the EC Treaty. The case turned on the definition of the relevant market reached following the council's examination of the facts.
In order to boost competition and enhance transparency, the minister for economic and business affairs has proposed a bill containing several amendments to the Competition Act. The amendments can be categorized into two groups: preventive measures and investigative measures.
In a recent decision the Competition Council stated that a merger that involved the transformation of a business from a voluntary chain to a centralized capital chain of retail shops impeded competition in a way that created a dominant position in the market, even when almost all the participating retail shops in the voluntary chain followed the same pricing policy.
The Competition Council has resolved to approve the concurrent acquisition by German company Celesio AG of two Danish pharmaceutical wholesale companies, KV Tjellesen A/S and A/S Max Jenne Medicinalvarer En Gros. The merger was referred to the Competition Council by the European Commission as it mainly affects the Danish market.
The Competition Council has approved the establishment of a joint venture between three Danish companies relating to the purchase and sale of fertilizers. This is the first time the council has considered a merger based on a notification and supporting documents in English only - an option introduced through amendments to the Competition Act in 2005.
The Competition Authority has approached the minister of the interior and health with a recommendation for increased liberalization of the Danish pharmacy sector. The approach was made on the basis of an analysis of the sector carried out by the authority in connection with its Competition Report 2005.
Billund Airport has notified its competitor Esbjerg Airport to the Competition Authority on the grounds that Esbjerg Airport illegally subsidizes budget airline Ryanair by offering it favourable prices to use the airport more frequently.
The Competition Council has ordered that illegal indirect aid given to the Transport Training Board of Denmark come to an end. The aid was given to the board's publishing firm by the Ministry of Education by allowing free access to educational material.
As a result of evidence found during a 2002 dawn raid by the Competition Authority, Danish Auto Recycling has been fined Dkr50,000 on account of price coordination. The organization had sent precise information on prices and time consumption relating to the environmental effects of various cars to its members.
The Competition Authority has found evidence of price fixing between two trade unions and their members following an investigation into the fee charged by shops when a certain type of debit card is used. The authority became suspicious as all shops charge the same fee.
Following a September 2004 ruling by the Competition Council that Post Danmark had abused its dominant position by carrying out price discrimination, Post Danmark has changed its prices. In the future it will use objective criteria when setting its distribution prices for unaddressed mail.
The European Commission has approved IBM's takeover of Danish IT companies Maersk Data and DMdata. The commission stated that the takeover will not create or strengthen a dominant position on any product market relevant for the case, either in the whole European Union or in a substantial part of it.
The International Competition Network's study of the competition authorities in its member countries has found Denmark to have a compliance rating of 85%. This puts the country in the top quarter of all the countries investigated, and at number 15 in the league table.
Major changes to the Competition Act have been adopted. Controversially, the Competition Council can now require large companies to set out trade conditions and submit them to the authorities. In addition, companies need no longer notify their agreements, even where the agreement may affect trade relations between Denmark and other countries.
The Competition Appeal Board has ruled that the sale of special editions of a book through a publisher's book club at a price lower than the fixed price of the ordinary edition is not anti-competitive. Instead, the system is covered by an exemption set out in the Competition Act that aims to achieve beneficial cultural and political effects.
The Competition Council has approved an agreement between radio and television stations concerning the right to negotiate jointly with the companies responsible for collecting artists' duties under the Copyright Act. The agreement should result in more equal negotiating conditions between the parties.
DSB, the Danish state-owned railway company, sells train tickets for foreign travel at a considerably higher price than the Copenhagen branch of its German counterpart, Deutsche Bahn. As a result, the Danish Competition Authority is investigating whether there is collusion between the parties.