The Packaging and Newspaper Collection Service (FTI) must withdraw its notice of termination of an agreement on access to household recycling stations that the company has with competitor TMResponsibility, after a decision taken by the Swedish Competition Authority. The decision is associated with a penalty payment of SEK 20 million which could be imposed if the notice of termination is not withdrawn.
In Sweden, producers of goods have a legal responsibility to collect and recycle the packaging waste emanating from their customer’s use of their products. The Packaging and Newspaper Collector Service (FTI) and TMResponsibility AB (TMR) are competing companies that offer services to enable producers to live up to their responsibilities. Both FTI and TMR collect household packaging waste via recycling stations that are owned by FTI.
FTI has given notice of termination of the agreement it has with TMR which has allowed TMR access to FTI's recycling stations. According to the Swedish Competition Authority, a party that wants to offer a producer responsibility services for household packaging waste must have access to recycling stations. All households must be able to discard their packaging waste for recycling, regardless of where they live. There are currently no other packaging collection system other than FTI's recycling stations, which are both accessible to the general public and available nationwide.
FTI owns the only packaging collection system that meets these requirements. Therefore, FTI’s termination of the agreement with TMR constitutes an abuse of a dominant position that is prohibited under the Swedish Competition Act. The Swedish Competition Authority therefore orders FTI to withdraw the notice of termination of the agreement with TMR. The decision is associated with a penalty of SEK 20 million which can be imposed if FTI does not comply with the order.
“Dominant companies that control essential infrastructure are not allowed to abuse their market power by refusing other players access”, says Rikard Jermsten, Director General of the Swedish Competition Authority.
"We take a very serious view of this kind of action by a dominant company when it affects a smaller competitor.”
For further information, please contact:
Liana Thorkildsen, Senior Adviser, tel. +46-8-700 15 43
Malin Björk, Legal Counsel, tel. +46-8-700 16 15
Karin Lunning, Head of Communications, tel. +46-8-700 16 42