Competition (Finland): Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority proposes fine of EUR 35million to be imposed on Eltel Networks Oy and Eltel Group Oy for anti-competitive behavior

On 31 October 2014, the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (“FCCA”) proposed that the Market Court would impose a fine of EUR 35 million on Eltel Networks Oy and Eltel Group Oy (jointly “Eltel”) for participation in a cartel on the markets for power transmission line building business, in breach of the Finnish and EU competition rules. Following the investigations which were commenced on the basis of a leniency application of Empower Oy (“Empower”), the FCCA found that Eltel and Empower colluded to agree on prices, margins and division of future projects from October 2004 at least until  March 2011. According to the FCCA, the conduct of Eltel and Empower amounted to a serious violation of competition law as the companies are the two largest companies in the power transmission line building business and the cartel covered the entire country. Empower received immunity from fines for revealing the existence of the cartel to the FCCA. In determining the level of the fine proposed, the FCCA took into account the gravity and duration of the infringement as well as Eltel’s turnover in 2013 which amounted to EUR 1.1 billion. Source: FCCA’s Press Release 31/10/2014

Competition (Finland): Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority carries out investigations in TeliaSonera Finland Oyj, DNA Oy and Suomen Yhteisverkko Oy

On 4 November 2014, the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (“FCCA”) announced that it has carried out investigations in TeliaSonera Finland Oyj, DNA Oy and Suomen Yhteisverkko Oy. With these investigations the FCCA is trying to find out whether the network cooperation published in 20 August 2014 between these companies concerns an operation prohibited by the Finnish Competition Act and/or the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“TFEU”). The investigations carried out pursuant to the Finnish Competition Act do not imply that the FCCA has conclusive proof of an infringement. The FCCA will now commence a more in-depth investigation of the matter. Source: FCCA’s  Pre s s  Re l ea s e 04/11/2014

EU: Juncker Commission takes office

The Juncker Commission officially started its term of office on 1 November 2014 which will run until 31 October 2019. In that connection, the Commissioner Margrethe Vestager also took office as the new Commissioner responsible for competition policy. Commissioner Vestager's key responsibilities are stated to include mobilizing competition policy tools and market expertise to contribute to creating jobs and promoting growth, developing the economic and legal approach of assessing competition issues and monitoring the market, effectively enforcing competition rules and strengthening the Commission's reputation worldwide and promoting international co-operation in competition issues. Source :CommissionDaily News 03/11/2014 and Website of Margrethe Vestager

In addition, kindly note the following merger control decisions by the Commission which are published on the website of the Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition:

  • Commission approves acquisition of joint control over certain concessions by Iridium and Dutch Infrastructure Fund
  • Commission approves acquisition of joint control over a joint venture in real estate sector by APG, Hammerson, Meyer Bergman Group and S.D. Malking Properties
  • Commission approves joint venture between Hino, Indomobil and Sumitomo
  • Commission approves acquisition of a controlling stake in 5 solar parks in France by Natixis
  • Commission approves acquisition of Tranquilidade by Apollo