An improved competition situation between municipal entities and private companies. This is what companies have been experiencing since the rules on anti-competitive sales activities by public entities were introduced into the Swedish Competition Act ten years ago. But the rate of improvement has slowed down and there is still a risk of conflict when public entities operate in competitive markets.
This is evident from a follow-up conducted by the Swedish Competition Authority in connection with the passing of ten years since the introduction of the rules on anti-competitive sales activities by public entities.
The survey shows that it is most common for companies to perceive the sales activities of municipal authorities as being problematic, rather than those carried out by governmental or regional authorities. It is primarily companies in urban and densely populated areas that are experiencing problems with competition from municipal entities. Low prices are seen as the main competition problem, and problems exist in many different sectors.
"The Swedish Competition Authority takes action when problems have been identified, but it is of course best of all to prevent competition problems from arising in the first place. Many municipalities are now actively carrying out preventive work, but we'd like to see more of them doing more," says Rikard Jermsten, Director General of the Swedish Competition Authority.
The Swedish Competition Authority has produced a number of recommendations on how such preventive work can be structured. These include training initiatives, inventories of sales activities, documentation and dialogue.
"By keeping the issue of competitive neutrality alive in the municipalities, the conditions are enhanced for competition to function well," says Rikard Jermsten.
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