Abuse of dominant position

Here you will find the decisions and judgments from the Patent and Market Court and the Patent and Market Court of Appeal in competition cases as well as the decisions or summons applications made by the Swedish Competition Authority before the case went to court. You will also find information on decisions on injunctions, fine orders and commitments, as well as decisions to close a case in selected cases of a wider interest. The summaries in English cover cases concluded from 2012 onwards. Summaries of older cases are available in Swedish.

 

 Company/actor

Swedish Competition Authority Patent and Market Court (Stockholm District Court prior to 01/09/2016) Patent and Market Court of Appeal (Market Court prior to 01/09/2016)

Swedish Match

Facts and backround

Press release: Summons application

Press release: The judgment from the Patent and Market Court

09/12/2014
(Ref. 815/2014)
Action for administrative fines of approximately SEK 38 million for abuse of dominant position by Swedish Match for applying a system for shelf labels in snus refrigerators which meant that competitors could no longer design their shelf labels, and instead had to followa system that limited the opportunities of their competitors to provide consumers with information about their brand and the price of their product(s).

2017-02-08
(PMT 16822-14)
The Patent and Market Court agreed with the Swedish Competition Authority and ruled that the company must pay fines amounting to SEK 38 million.

 

Swedavia AB

18/03/2013
(Ref. 378/2013)
Claim that Swedavia should pay administrative fines of SEK 340,000 for abuse of dominance for charging an extra pre-booking fee to taxi companies – a charge which lacked relevant connection to pre-booked taxis and which was unfair.

13/01/2014
(T 9131-13)
Swedavia claimed that the District Court should reject the Authority’s application. The District Court did not uphold Swedavia’s action for rejection of the summary application.

2016-06-09
(T 9131-13)
Stockholm District Court proved if Swedavia abused its dominant position when charged a special "sign fee" from the taxi companies during the period 7 February - 23 November 2011. The District Court found that there were no abuse of dominant position. The District Court did not approv to the Authority's petition.

2015-04-17
(MD 2015:4)
Swedavia appealed the District Court's decision. The Market Court made the same decision as the District Court and found that there were no procedural impediment. the Market Court left the the appeal without approval.

Nasdaq OMX Stockholm AB, OMX AB and OMX Technology AB

Press release: Summons application

Facts and background

27/05/2015
(Ref 406/2015)
Action for administrative fines of approximately 31 million SEK for abuse of dominant position by OMX AB and one or more subsidiaries, by preventing Burgundy AB from placing its matching engine in a data hall of a third party, Verizon AB in the autumn of 2010. This led to longer communication times between Burgundy’s actual and potential customers and Burgundy, and higher connection costs for Burgundy. The action raised entry barriers for Burgundy and reduced competitive pressure on the relevant market.

 

 

 

 

 Telia Sonera

21/12/2004
(Ref 1135/2004)
Claim of administrative fines of SEK 144 million for abuse of dominant position on market for broadband connections (ADSL) by Telia Sonera for offering wholesale and end-user services at such prices that the margin between the wholesale price and the price to private customers was insufficient to cover Telia Soneras own costs for sales of broadband to private customers (margin squeeze).

02/12/2011
(T 31862-04)
Upheld the Authority’s claim. TeliaSonera appealed the District Court’s judgment.

17/02/2011
European Court of Justice delivered its preliminary ruling.

04/02/2009
District Court decided to request a preliminary ruling from the European Court of Justice. The case was stayed.

12/02/2013
(MD 2013:5)
Found Telia Sonera to have abused its dominant position and ordered the company to pay SEK 35 million in administrative fines.

 
Decisions to close cases (selection of cases of wider interest)

Company/actor  Swedish Competition Authority

ApoEx AB

10/11/2016
(Ref. 791/2015)
In a complaint to the Authority, a distributor of medicines and consumables to healthcare providers in Sweden claimed that distributors or manufacturers of medicines had abused a dominant position by refusing to supply medicines to the company’s wholesale business. According to the complaint, this meant that the company’s parallel import of medicines from Sweden had completely stopped. The Authority’s investigation did not show that there had been an established contractual relationship for supplies to the company’s wholesale business. The investigation also did not show that there was an obligation under competition law to supply to the company as a new customer. Therefore there was not support for showing that there was an illegal refusal to supply according to the competition rules. The Authority therefore decided not to investigate the matter further.

Arla

 

14/11/2016
(Ref. 663/2015
In a tip-off to the Authority it was claimed that Arla had engaged in anticompetitive activities. Arla were alleged to have made payments to grocers, on condition that Arla was granted an exclusive delivery relationship with these grocers. According to the tip-off this conduct led to Arla’s competitors not being able to establish new delivery relationships, and in certain cases being forced to terminate existing delivery relationships to grocers. The Authority did not find support for Arla having made payments to grocers that were conditional on exclusivity. The investigation did not find support for Arla’s rebates in the form of delivery payments leading to anticompetitive foreclosure. In its assessment, the Authority took into account, among other things, that Arla’s payments were standardised, that is to say they were available to all customers that fulfilled the criteria, and that their calculations had an insignificant retroactive element. At the same time, it was considered that the formulation of the payments would not mean that an equally efficient competitor risked being excluded from the market. The Authority therefore decided not to prioritise a further investigation in the matter.

Onlinepizza Norden AB

Press release

 

14/04/2016
(Ref. 658/2015)
A competitor of OnlinePizza claimed that the company had given an ultimatum to restaurants connected to both the competitor and OnlinePizza. Both companies offer an online ordering platform for restaurants that want to offer collection and home delivery of food. According to the complaint, OnlinePizza’s ultimatum meant that the restaurants were either able to be connected to Pizzahero or to OnlinePizza. The Authority stated in its decision that a conduct which in practice makes it more difficult for customers to be connected to competing platforms in parallel can lead to foreclosure and also counteract new entry. The effect of the conduct can be affected by the level of market power of the different platforms, and the share of relevant customers or suppliers which are covered by the conduct. The investigation showed that OnlinePizza had in practice not applied its agreement as an exclusivity agreement. During the investigation OnlinePizza chose to modify the wording of the contractual term. The Authority decided not to investigate the matter further.

 Postnord Sverige AB

06/11/2015
(Ref. 638/2015 and 639/2015)
Customers of Postnord that carry out so-called intermediary activities claimed that Postnord’s modification of the company’s annual volume rebates amounted to an abuse of a dominant position. The changes meant that intermediaries could no longer add together their customers’ volumes to receive a volume rebate. The Authority’s investigation did not find support for the changed terms for receiving a volume rebate amounting to an abuse of dominance. It was also not a case of illegal discrimination, since the intermediaries could not be considered to be at a competitive disadvantage compared to competitors (intermediaries do not compete with Postnord’s end customers). The investigation did not indicate that the changed terms amounted to an exclusionary abuse through predatory pricing, loyalty rebates or margin squeeze. The Authority therefore decided not to prioritise a further investigation of the matter.

Infranord AB

04/07/2014
(Ref. 721/2014
A competitor to Infrabord claimed that Infranord had abused its dominant position on the market for operation and maintenance of railways by applying predatory pricing in tenders in two procurements by the Swedish Transport Administration. Low prices offered by a dominant company can amount to an abuse if the prices do not allow for the covering of the dominant company’s costs. The Authority’s investigation did not show that Infranord’s tenders amounted to such predatory pricing and the Authority therefore decided not to prioritise a continued investigation of the matter.

Swedavia AB

23/05/2014
(Ref. 455/2013)
Different taxi companies alleged that Swedavia and a contractor engaged to manage queuing systems for taxis at Arlanda Airport had abuse their collectively dominant position by charging different unfair fees to the taxi companies. The Authority’s investigation did not show that the contractor’s profit margins regarding the fees were particularly high, something which would be required for a fee to be considered unfair. The Authority did not find sufficient grounds to prioritise a continued investigation in the matter.

SJ AB

19/05/2014
(Ref. 178/2014)
A company which intended to start running commercial rail activities on a certain stretch of railway in Sweden alleged that SJ had abused its dominant position by refusing to sell the company’s train tickets on SJ-online (an online sales platform), thus amounting to refusal to supply. The Authority’s investigation did not show that it was essential to have access to SJ online (i.e. a so-called essential facility) in order to enter and operate on the stretch of railway in question, something which would be required for it to amount to an abuse of dominance through refusal to supply. The Authority therefore decided not to investigate the issue further.

 

 

 

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