The Stockholm City Court has sided with the Swedish Competition Authority and found Skelleftebuss AB guilty of violating the Competition Act by chartering buses where the client is a party other than the municipality.
"We are very pleased that the City Court has ruled in favour of the Competition Authority's petitions and is prohibiting Skelleftebuss from running operations which inhibit competition and contravene the Swedish Local Government Act", says the Competition Authority's Director-General Dan Sjöblom.
The court's verdict offers welcomed guidance to municipalities and county councils and demonstrates that they cannot conduct sales activities that contravene the Competition Act.
The Competition Authority found that the municipally owned company, Skelleftebuss, prevented other bus companies from working and growing in the bus chartering market and that it had thus exceeded its competence. This assessment has now been fully supported by the City Court.
"Municipally owned companies shall, in accordance with the law, not act in a way that makes it difficult for private companies to grow or to start operating. Eliminating competition and pulling the rug out from underneath private companies, is not a municipality's task", says Dan Sjöblom.
The operation which has been tried in the case is bus chartering. Skelleftebuss runs both public transport and private charters. There are many municipal bus companies in Sweden, but these run, almost exclusively, public transport and there is support in the jurisdiction for this. This is considered in the public interest and forms part of the municipality's competence of running public transport, as opposed to charters.
The Competition Authority is currently involved in five court cases which are related to anti-competitive, public sale activities, of which one case is pending before the Market Court.
For more information, please contact:
Per Karlsson, Head of Legal Department tel. +46 (0)76 542 15 56
Kristin Mattsson Örnulf, Legal Counsel, tel. +46(0) 8 700 15 42
Åsa Lövström, Public Relations Officer, tel. +46 (0) 8 700 16 36