December 23 2004
The government has launched an investigation into how legal proceedings against companies suspected of cartel activity can be accelerated. At present, the charges of the Competition Authority are first tried in a district court, which decides whether a fine should be imposed. The district court ruling can then be appealed to the Market Court. Therefore, it can take several years for a final ruling to be delivered.
The government wants to ascertain whether it is feasible for fines to be imposed directly by the Competition Authority and whether the number of court instances can be reduced. In addition, the investigation will propose amendments to the Competition Act for increased clarity and compliance with new EU merger rules.
Following suspicions of cartel activity in the natural gas market, the Swedish Competition Authority has joined forces with its Danish counterpart in dawn raids in Sweden and Denmark to secure evidence. It is the first time the Competition Authority has conducted an investigation of this sort in close cooperation with the competition authority of another EU member state.
Sweden's largest operator of cinemas, SF Bio, has notified its proposed acquisition of the country's second largest cinema operator, Sandrews Metronome, to the Competition Authority. In finding that the notified deal may create a dominant position, potentially impeding competition on the Swedish cinema market, the authority has initiated an in-depth investigation into the effects of the concentration. The authority must decide by January 27 2005.
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