A new government bill presented to the Riksdag on 27 February 2014, proposes amendments to the Swedish Competition Act making it easier for companies to blow the whistle on cartels in which they participate. Under the present rules, the Swedish Competition Authority (the “SCA”) may waive administrative fines for a company participating in a cartel if the company is the first company to notify the SCA, and the company in the notification provides sufficient information for the SCA to be able to take action against the cartel. Under the new proposal, the SCA will be able to waive administrative fines even if the notification from the company does not contain sufficient information for the SCA to take action, as long as the company completes their notification with sufficient information within a certain grace period. The proposed system, called a queue ticket system in the preparatory work of the bill, will make it possible for a company to secure the status as a first whistle blower, even if the company is unable to produce sufficient information in the first notification. If the company thereafter fails to complete the original notification with sufficient information within the grace period, it will under the proposal lose its status as a first whistle blower (its “queue ticket”). The proposed system is thus akin to the present “marker” system of the European Commission and many national competition authorities. Moreover, the government bill also proposes amendments to the so-called stop the clock provisions contained in the Swedish Competition Act as regards review of notified concentrations. Under the present rules, the SCA has 25 (and in some cases 35) days to make its decision (Phase I review) to clear a notified concentration or continue its investigation (which can then last up to 3 months; Phase II). Under the proposed amendment, it will become possible for the SCA to temporarily stop the clock during Phase I or II, meaning that the review period may be prolonged. Such stopping the clock could be based on the request of the notifying party or on a decision of the SCA due to the notifying party’s inability to provide additional information required for the review of the notification. A decision of the SCA to stop the clock would not be appealable. If the bill is passed in the Riksdag, it will come into effect on 1 August 2014.Source: Prop. 2013/14:135 Förbättrad konkurrenstillsyn