12/20/2012–FCA proposes a €70m fine on Valio for abuse of dominant position in the fresh milk market
The FCA proposes that the Market Court impose on Valio Oy a €70m penalty payment for abuse of dominant position in the production and wholesale market of fresh milk. The FCA has also ordered Valio to cease its antitrust violation which has continued for almost three years.
The FCA today approved a deal whereby DLA International Holding A/S ("DLA") part of the Danish Agro group acquires control in Hankkija-Maatalous Oy.
The Ministry of Employment and the Economy has appointed LL.M., trained on the bench Juhani Jokinen Director General of the new Competition and Consumer Authority for 1 January – 31 Marc 2012. For the same duration, M.Sc. Techn, M.Sc.Pol. Timo Mattila has been appointed Director of the Competition division, and LL.M. Päivi Hentunen Director of the Consumer division and Consumer Ombudsman.
The new Competition and Consumer Authority is to commence operations on 1 January 2012. The President of the Republic confirmed the pertinent acts on 30 November 2012.
The FCA today decided to commence phase two investigations in a deal whereby Uponor Oyj (”Uponor”) and KWH-Yhtymä Oy (”KWH”) found a joint venture.
The FCA today decided to commence phase two proceedings in a deal whereby DLA International Holding A/S ("DLA") part of the Danish Agro group acquires control in Hankkija-Maatalous Oy. Following the merger, Suomen Osuuskauppojen Keskuskunta remains a minority shareholder in Hankkija-Maatalous Oy and owns 40 per cent of its shares.
The Finnish Competition Authority (FCA) approved the acquisition on 25.9.2012, in which Rudus Oy acquired the sole control of Lemminkäinen Rakennustuotteet Oy (Lemminkäinen Construction Materials). Rudus and Finnsementti Oy both belong to the CRH Group, which is an international concern and sells the majority of concrete products used in Finland. Both parties to the deal develop, manufacture and sell stone-based building materials.
The government evening session met on Wednesday 19 September to discuss a programme for promoting healthy competition. The aim of the programme is to increase competition in the domestic market. The added value of the targeted sectors is approximately EUR 50 billion, which equals almost one fourth of Finland's GDP.
The present Finnish Competition Authority and Consumer Agency will be merged to form a new Competition and Consumer Agency, which is to open on 1 January 2013. The Government submitted a Bill concerning the new agency and related legislation to Parliament on 17 September 2012.
The Finnish Competition Authority joined the central government phone numbering system on Tuesday 11 September 2012. Our new telephone numbers have the prefix 029 505. The new number to the FCA’s exchange number is +358 295 05 3300. The price for calls to the 029 numbers is the local network fee or the mobile call fee charged by the caller's operator. When calling from abroad, the price is determined by the local operator.
The FCA today published an extensive report on the provision of pharmaceutical products, in which several amendments to the regulation on the Finnish pharmacy system and provision of pharmaceutical products are proposed.
The FCA yesterday decided to commence phase two investigations in a deal whereby Rudus Oy acquires sole control in Lemminkäinen Rakennustuotteet Oy (Lemminkäinen Construction Materials). Both partiers e.g. produce and sell ready-made concrete and concrete products.
A new unit specialising in cartels – the Cartels unit – has been set up at the FCA from 1 June 2012. The unit focuses on the handling of so-called hard core cartels, is responsible for the handling of leniency applications related to cartel reports, and develops the FCA’s investigatory activities.
5/10/2012–Proposal: Finnish Competition Authority and Consumer Agency should merge at the outset of the new year
The Ministry of Employment and the Economy proposes that the Finnish Competition Authority and the Finnish Consumer Agency should be merged into one joint agency which will begin operations on 1 January 2013.
The aim of substitution of medicines is to enable price competition between pharmaceutical companies and hence produce savings to both customers using medicines and to the society. However, according to the FCA's investigations the system does not currently support full-scale price competition.
The Ministry of Employment and the Economy has appointed M.Sc. (Tech.), M.Soc.Sc. Timo Mattila Director General of the Finnish Competition Authority between 1 May 2012 and 30 April 2013. Mattila resumes the duties from the position of an Assistant Director. Mattila has been employed by the Finnish Competition Authority for thirteen years. He has acted as a Senior Research Officer, Head of Research and Head of Unit.
In its spending limits discussion of 22 March 2012, the Government decided to commence a programme to promote sound and effective competition. The Ministry of Employment and the Economy is responsible for its preparation. The Director General of Finnish Competition Authority, LL.M. trained at the bench Juhani Jokinen has been appointed to head the programme during 1 May 2012–30 April 2013.
The Ministry of Employment and the Economy has announced that it will set up a steering group to investigate the possibility of merging the Finnish Competition Authority and the Finnish Consumer Agency, and at the same time also assess whether the National Consumer Research Centre could be combined to the potential new entity as well.
The investigation will be completed during the spring. The possible decision to merge will be made later based on the investigation. If the decision to merge is made, the new office could start operations in the beginning of 2013.
2/20/2012–FCA boosts cartel control – Undertaking that disengages itself on own initiative may obtain immunity
On the basis of supplementary appropriations received for combating the grey economy, the FCA boosts the control of cartels and other restraints on competition. The recruitment of new officials, primarily focusing on cartel control, is currently underway. Control is also tightened by increasing the cooperation of competition authorities and the civil servants responsible for public procurements to detect cartels.
The competition intensity in the construction sector is relatively weak, even if the market structure in it is not the most concentrated of all sectors, it is maintained in the recent opinion of the Finnish Competition Authority. One reason for the situation may be the operating environment gradually created by measures of the public authorities which does not encourage the field to particularly intense competition.
The FCA has closed its investigations, began in 2009, on the district heating sector. According to the investigations, none of the ten biggest district heating companies in Finland priced district heating during 2004-2008 in a manner which would suggest excessive pricing prohibited by the Competition Act. The provisions only allow interventions with gross excesses of pricing.
1/10/2012–FCA study shows that daily consumer goods trade uses its buying power in several ways that are questionable for competition
According to the FCA study on buying power in the daily consumer goods trade published today, retailers use their firm position with respect to suppliers in several ways that may be considered questionable for sound and effective economic competition. The FCA hence finds that there is a clear need for further investigations into the practices of the trade.