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To protect competition, the Swedish Competition Authority temporarily bans Nasdaq from offering certain shares for trade

Nasdaq, which runs a stock exchange in Sweden, has announced that it will offer trading of shares in undertakings listed on the Nordic Growth Market Nordic SME, without prior consent from the affected undertakings. The Swedish Competition Authority has found that the action is likely in breach of the prohibition on abuse of a dominant position and therefore orders Nasdaq not to offer trading of shares in undertakings listed on NGM if the undertakings have not consented thereto. This is an interim decision in force until the in-depth investigation is completed.

Abuse of a dominant position on the part of one or more undertakings is prohibited under the Competition Act. In order for the prohibition to be applicable, the undertaking must both have a dominant position on the relevant market and have acted in a way that constitutes abuse of the dominant position. The Swedish Competition Authority has, in the ongoing investigation, identified circumstances that indicate it is likely that Nasdaq’s intention of offering trading of shares in undertakings listed on NGM Nordic SME, without first getting consent from the undertakings, is in breach of the prohibition on abuse of a dominant position.

‘It is our assessment that Nasdaq’s actions can harm both issuers and the trade market for small and medium-sized undertakings – in particular NGM. Nasdaq, as an undertaking with a dominant position, has particular responsibility to avoid acting in a way that creates a risk of damage to competition’, says Rikard Jermsten, Director General of the Swedish Competition Authority.

Because of how the market functions, such action might have immediate and serious effects on the market structure by causing NGM, one of Nasdaq’s few competitors on the relevant market, to lose in competitiveness. Given that Nasdaq’s action does not take into account the desires and opinions of the issuers, there is also an element of Nasdaq using its position at the direct cost of issuers that have consciously and for various reasons elected to be listed on a stock exchange other than Nasdaq’s growth market. The Swedish Competition Authority assesses it as likely that Nasdaq’s planned action can have a serious and negative impact on competition.

The interim order is necessary to protect competition on the market in question while the investigation is ongoing. The interest of protecting competition outweighs any negative effects that might arise for Nasdaq as a result of the interim order.

‘It is rare that the Swedish Competition Authority needs to make interim decisions banning a certain action before an investigation has been finalised. In this case, it is our assessment that an intervention is necessary before Nasdaq has begun trading shares in the affected undertakings, to prevent that the damage to competition becomes both serious and irreparable’, says Rikard Jermsten, Director-General of the Swedish Competition Authority.

The interim decision is associated with a fine of SEK fifty million (50,000,000).

For further information, please contact

Erika Svärdh, Head of Communications, +46(0)8 700 16 50, erika.svardh@kkv.se

Last updated: 2022-06-09

Press release3 june 2022