In its judgement June 29, 2018, the Swedish Patent and Market Court of Appeal has overturned the Swedish Patent and Market Court’s judgment and found, contrary to what the Swedish Competition Authority had argued in the case, that Swedish Match has not abused its dominant market position.
In February 2017, the Swedish Patent and Market Court imposed a fine of almost SEK 38 million on Swedish Match for breach of competition regulations in acting in a manner that significantly impaired conditions for fair competition.
Swedish Match has now been relieved from liability to pay this fine.
“The Swedish Patent and Market Court of Appeal has reached a different conclusion regarding Swedish Match’s conduct than that reached by the Swedish Competition Authority and the Patent and Market Court. We will now be analysing the judgement prior to giving further consideration to prioritisations,” says Rikard Jermsten, Director General of the Swedish Competition Authority.
In the case, the Swedish Competition Authority claimed that Swedish Match, by imposing strict rules on shelf labelling in in-store snus refrigerators and by the manner in which Swedish Match applied those rules, had limited the ability of competitors to communicate their prices and brands to consumers.
The Swedish Patent and Market Court of Appeal found that Swedish Match enjoyed a dominant position in the Swedish snus market during the period in question and that the rules for shelf labelling in themselves limited competition. However, the Court also found that the labelling system could be objectively justified.
Moreover, the Court found that the Swedish Competition Authority did not succeed in showing that the manner in which Swedish Match implemented the labelling system constituted an abuse of its dominant position. The judgement cannot be appealed.
For further information, please contact:
Jimmy Dominius, Press Officer, tel: +46 (0)76 542 15 80, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cecilia Widhagen, Legal Counsel, tel: +46 (0)8 700 15 20
Eva Persson, Legal Counsel, tel: +46 (0)8 700 15 87