Eight dealers selling Volvo and Renault cars in southern Sweden have been found guilty by the Market Court of unlawful price collusion and market sharing, and have been ordered to pay fines of over SEK 21 million in total.
“I find it very satisfying that the Market Court has clearly ruled that what these car dealers were engaged in is anti-competitive and in breach of the competition rules,” says Acting Director General Jan-Erik Ljusberg. “This ruling makes absolutely clear that price collusion and market sharing between retail companies is not allowed, even when they sell the same brands.”
An email that was intended for rival dealers but went astray led to the cartel being exposed. Following unannounced visits – known as dawn raids – to various companies and a subsequent investigation, the Competition Authority instigated legal proceedings. The City Court found the dealers not guilty, but the Competition Authority appealed to the Market Court, which has now ruled in favour of the agency.
“For many consumers, buying a car is one of the most expensive purchases you make in a lifetime,” says Jan-Erik Ljusberg. “So it’s important that consumers are able to feel that competition works and is not constrained by secret agreements. In this particular case, competition in the market for Volvo and Renault cars in southern Sweden was curtailed, and we’re pleased to be able to expose these violations and have the dealers convicted.”
“At the Competition Authority, we’re very satisfied with the ruling. All the dealers were convicted. Six of the eight companies will now be required to pay the fines we called for. Our aim is to keep fines as heavy as possible, since they are supposed to deter others.”
The Market Court is the last instance of appeal in cases concerning breaches of the Competition Act.
For further information, please contact:
Jimmy Dominius, Press Officer, phone: +46 8 700 15 80 or
+46 73 773 15 80
Eva Berndtsson, Head of Division, phone: +46 8 700 16 04 or
+46 73 773 16 04
Charlotte Zackari, Head of Legal Department, phone: +46 8 700 16 13 or +46 073 773 16 13