Continued Competition in the Recycling Industry

Press release

The Swedish Packaging and Newspaper Collection Service (FTI) must give a rival company continued access to recycling stations. This according to a decision of the Patent and Market Court that upholds a decision of the the Swedish Competition Authority.

Anyone who produces packaging is responsible for collecting and recycling their packaging once it becomes waste. The Packaging and Newspaper Collection Service (FTI) and TMResponsibility AB (TMR) compete to provide producers with solutions that allow them to fulfill this responsibility (sometimes referred to as “exemption services”). Both FTI and TMR collect packaging from households via recycling stations.

FTI had terminated the agreement that granted TMR access to FTI's recycling facilities. According to the Swedish Competition Authority's assessment, any entity that wishes to provide a producer with a service that allows it to fulfill its packaging-related responsibilities must have access to recycling facilities. All households must be able to submit their packaging for recycling, regardless of where they live. Currently, there exist no other collection systems than FTI's recycling stations, which are both accessible to the public and located throughout the country.  

The Swedish Competition Authority found that FTI's termination of the agreement with TMR constituted an abuse of a dominant position. In February 2018, the Swedish Competition Authority therefore ordered FTI to revoke its termination of the agreement with TMR. The decision was accompanied by a penalty payment of 20 million SEK, the payment of which could be demanded if FTI failed to comply with the injunction.

FTI appealed to the Swedish Competition Authority’s decision to the Patent and Market Court, which now affirms the decision of the Swedish Competition Authority. This means that FTI must allow its competitor TMR to continue to have access to the recycling stations. The decision may be appealed to Patent and Market Court of Appeal no later than February 11, 2019.

“Dominant companies that control essential infrastructure must not abuse their market power by denying other actors access,” says Richard Jermsten, the Director General of the Swedish Competition Authority.

“We take this type of conduct, which mean that all effective competition on the market is eliminated, very seriously.”

For further information please contact:
Jimmy Dominius, Press Officer, tel +46 76-542 15 80, Malin Björk, Legal Counsel  tel. +46 8-700 16 15

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