Smaller-scale producers of snus tobacco have reason to be pleased today. This is the view of the Swedish Competition Authority after the Patent and Market Court ruled that Swedish Match must pay fines amounting to almost SEK 38 million for abusing its dominant market position.
The ruling of the Patent and Market Court states that Swedish Match has restricted the opportunities for competing manufacturers of snus tobacco to market their products in refrigerated snus displays in stores. Such an abuse of a dominant market position is forbidden by competition rules.
“I am very pleased that the Court is in agreement with the Swedish Competition Authority and has ruled against Swedish Match for the abuse of its dominant market position”, says acting Director-General of the Swedish Competition Authority Karin Lunning.
Other manufacturers were disadvantaged by the actions of Swedish Match, which involved Swedish Match removing the shelf labels of competing snus manufacturers in snus displays, and replacing them with greyish-white and less-visible labels, often without price information. The Patent and Market Court has now ruled that this does not constitute normal businesslike behaviour. The Court found that Swedish Match has conducted an anti-competitive strategy.
“This is a good day for the smaller-scale manufacturers of snus tobacco who are in competition with the market-leading Swedish Match”, says Karin Lunning.
The Swedish Competition Authority went to court and filed a case against Swedish Match. The Patent and Market Court has now ruled that the company must pay fines amounting to SEK 38 million.
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