INTERNATIONAL: FINLAND - COMPETITION AUTHORITY - DIGITALISATION - MERGER CONTROL - CARTELS - RPM

Finland: Enforcement of the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority 2017–2020 (selected developments)

This report introduces selected recent enforcement of the Finnish Competition Authority (FCCA) within the last four years (2017–2020) as well as judgements of the Finnish Market Court as regards the cases brought in front of it by the FCCA. Specific developments were selected by the authors of the report. Firstly, it shortly introduces the current discussion on competition law and digitalisation, which has also been active in Finland. Secondly, it analyses the current enforcement of merger control in Finland, as it appears that the FCCA has taken a stricter approach than previously. Thereafter it focuses on the competition concerns and investigations that arose in Finland after the taxi market was liberated for competition and on a recent case on resale price maintenance for which the FCCA is seeking a penalty payment. Finally, the report discusses recent cartel enforcement of the FCCA. The Market Court recently gave its decision on the alleged price recommendations and agreeing on prices in the market for driving schools. The FCCA has also taken to the Market Court an alleged cartel in the market for expanded polystyrene insulation (EPS), which involves the three of its main suppliers in Finland.

I. Introduction 1. Competition law in Finland 1. In Finland competition law has been gradually developing since 1957 when the so-called Cartel Act [1] built around the principle of publicity was announced. [2] Thereafter, the Act Promoting Economic Competition of 1964, [3] based on the principle of abuse and the special negotiation procedure to remove the harmful effects of restriction of competition, was introduced. [4] What is more, the Act of 1973 [5] brought along competition authorities such as State Council, competition ombudsman and Competition Council. [6] However, Finnish competition law did not properly develop until the late 1980s (dismantling of price deregulation in 1988). [7] The Act of 1988 on Restrictions of Competition [8] added the principle of abuse, and harmful

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Beata Mäilhäniemi, Liisa Tarkkila, Finland: Enforcement of the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority 2017–2020 (selected developments), February 2021, Concurrences N° 1-2021, Art. N° 98873, www.concurrences.com

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