On 19 December 2012, the Danish Parliament passed the Danish governments proposal of an amendment to the Danish Competition Act. The amendment was passed in the wake of heavy debate regarding whether the Danish Competition Act should be tightened i.a. due to foreign practice.
The implication of the new act is higher penalties for offences pursuant to the competition act. The penalty level is raised considerably, and offences pursuant to the act can entail fines up to DKK 20 million. In particularly severe cases, the act contains legal basis for fines exceeding this amount without a fixed upper limit. Previously, fines where determined by the turnover of the company. However, in Danish practice, no fine has ever exceeded DKK 5 million (which corresponded to 0,06% of the turnover of the company in question).
With the new competition act, legal basis for imprisonment in cartel cases is introduced. Severe cases may entail imprisonment for up to one and a half year and, if aggravating circumstances speaks in favour of a higher sentence, the maximum penalty is increased to six years.
The amendment will become effective from 1 March 2013.