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Laws and rules

The Swedish Competition Act and the EU’s competition rules contain two prohibitions: Prohibition against anticompetitive cooperation between undertakings and prohibition against the exploitation of market power by undertakings in a dominant position.

The Swedish Competition Act and the EU’s competition rules also contain rules on the acquisition of undertakings. In addition to this, the Swedish Competition Act includes rules for anticompetitive public sales activities.

Two key prohibition provisions for undertakings

The Swedish Competition Act and the EU’s competition rules contain two key prohibition provisions - one prohibiting anticompetitive cooperation between undertakings and one prohibiting undertakings in a dominant position from abusing their market power.

The EU’s competition rules in Sweden

Undertakings in Sweden must comply with articles of the EU’s Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) prohibiting anticompetitive agreements and the abuse of a dominant position.

In the case of anticompetitive agreements and the abuse of a dominant position, a practice can be examined under both the EU’s competition rules and under the Swedish Competition Act. The EU’s competition rules apply as Swedish law, in parallel with Swedish competition legislation.

The Swedish Competition Authority applies the EU’s competition rules if trade between EU Member States is significantly affected. Agreements between undertakings that only concern the Swedish market may also be examined under the EU’s competition rules, for example if they impede imports.

Chapter 2, Section 1 of the Swedish Competition Act and Art. 101 of the TFEU prohibit anticompetitive cooperation between undertakings that significantly hinders or distorts competition. The rules prohibit various types of cooperation, including price agreements (price-fixing), information exchange or exclusivity agreements. The prohibition applies to both horizontal and vertical cooperation.

 

Chapter 2, Section 7 of the Swedish Competition Act and Art. 102 of the TFEU prohibit undertakings in a dominant position from abusing their market power. For example, an undertaking may be considered to have a dominant position if it has a large market share (above 40%), but numerous different circumstances are always assessed. An undertaking must not abuse its dominant position, for example by making it more difficult for new actors to enter the market or through predatory pricing.

Acquisition of undertakings

The Swedish Competition Act and the EU’s competition rules contain rules on the acquisition of undertakings. Some acquisitions are to be reported to the Swedish Competition Authority and some are to be examined by the European Commission. There are also cases when the acquisitions can be referred from Sweden to the Commission and vice versa. 

Anticompetitive public sales activities

The Swedish Competition Act contains rules that are intended to prevent unfair competition between public and private undertakings. This rule means that courts can prohibit the Swedish state, municipalities and regions from selling goods and services in a way that restricts competition.

The duty to supply information

Undertakings are obliged to provide us with the information necessary for our investigations. We may also demand information from municipalities and regions on the costs and revenues of their activities.