A trade association for laboratory companies has voluntarily undertaken to change its general provisions so as to avoid contravening the Swedish competition rules, under penalty of a fine of SEK 750 000.
The association in question (Föreningen ackrediterade Laboratorier) is an umbrella organisation for private laboratory companies supplying analytical services to private enterprise and the public sector.
In the preliminary assessment of the Swedish Competition Authority, the general provisions issued by the association governing the actions of member laboratories contain a potentially anti-competitive clause. The provisions set out fixed percentage rates for determining charges payable when deliveries are delayed. In the Swedish Competition Authority’s view, the laboratory companies should compete over the rates they charge since this can influence speed of delivery.
The trade association’s voluntary undertaking involves revising the general provisions so that they now recommend the negotiation of separate agreements regarding deductions for time lost (delay charges). The Swedish Competition Authority has decided to attach a conditional fine of SEK 750 000 to the undertaking.