Positive decision that gives more power to estate agent clients

Press release

The decision of Swedbank, which already owns Fastighetsbyrån, to cancel the purchase of Svensk Fastighetsförmedling is a great success for sellers of properties, according to the Swedish Competition Authority.

The decision of Swedbank, which already owns Fastighetsbyrån, to cancel the purchase of Svensk Fastighetsförmedling is a great success for sellers of properties, according to the Swedish Competition Authority.

The Competition Authority has watched with growing concern as the estate agent market almost saw the emergence of a very powerful actor when Swedbank, which already owns Fastighetsbyrån, acquired Svensk Fastighetsförmedling. The transaction is now cancelled and it is a decision that benefits the market and the sellers of properties.

"I am very happy that the transaction has been stopped. When the number one on the market buys number two there is a great risk that competition problems arise, which was the case here", said the Competition Authority's Director-General Dan Sjöblom in a comment.

"It is positive that the number of estate agents to choose from will remain unchanged. This is especially true on local markets. There would have been a serious deterioration of competition in many municipalities if the transaction had gone ahead", says Dan Sjöblom.

The Competition Authority has examined Swedbank's acquisition and went to court in order to obtain a prohibition on the deal. Stockholm City Court made a ruling in December 2014 to follow the Competition Authority's suggestion and prohibit the deal. Swedbank appealed to the Market Court, which has conducted a main hearing for two weeks. A ruling was supposed to have been issued on 7 April but Swedbank chose not to await the ruling but to stop the deal.

As the matter is now withdrawn from the Market Court, it is the City Court ruling that now applies, i.e. that the purchase is prohibited. It is now Swedbank's responsibility to ensure that business returns to normal.

"It's good that the close to 190 franchisees within Svensk Fastighetsförmedling are buying Svensk Fastighetsförmedling and that the ownership will be separate from Fastighetsbyrån. It means that competition can be maintained", says the Competition Authority's Chief Legal Officer Per Karlsson.

"We had good arguments for a prohibition, which is also clear in the clear ruling by the Stockholm City Court. This is a solution that is good for the sellers of properties", says Per Karlsson.

Company concentrations over a certain size shall be reported to the Competition Authority. Each year, 50–60 company concentrations are examined. A small number of these lead to demands for prohibition or divestment. It is however unusual that the companies argue their case all the way to a court ruling. The last time a company concentration was settled in a court was in 1998.

For further information, please contact:
Jimmy Dominius, Press Officer , tel. +46(0) 8 700 15 80 or +46 (0) 76 542 15 80
Per Karlsson, Chief Legal Officer, tel. +46(0) 76 542 15 56

Last updated:

Related information