Gorrissen Federspiel

Copenhagen

For many years, Gorrissen Federspiel has been positioned as one of the leading corporate law firms in Denmark with strong and long standing international relations.

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Updates

Competition & Antitrust

Pharmaceutical distributor found guilty of excessive pricing
Denmark | 16 July 2020

The Maritime and Commercial High Court recently found that a pharmaceutical distributor had abused its dominant position in Denmark by charging excessive prices (a price increase of 2,000%). The pharmaceutical sector has received increased scrutiny from the competition authorities in recent years. The case is particularly relevant to the application of competition law during the COVID-19 crisis, as even short periods of dominance are sufficient to establish abuse of a dominant position.

Western High Court judgment on simplified notifications in merger control
Denmark | 14 May 2020

The Western High Court recently upheld a Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (DCCA) decision on merger notification forms. As a result of this ruling, even if a merger meets the criteria for simplified notification, the DCCA can require a standard notification if it cannot determine that no competition concerns will arise based solely on the simplified notification.

Merger control time limit suspension extended
Denmark | 30 April 2020

On 16 March 2020 significant parts of Denmark's public administration were shut down as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the shutdown has begun to ease up, the merger control time limit suspension remains and has been extended by executive order until 10 May 2020.

DCCA enforcement: merger control suspended
Denmark | 02 April 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across Denmark, merger control has come to a temporary standstill and significant parts of the country's public administration have already been shut down for three weeks. However, the Danish competition authorities are adamant that competition law remains in force and will prioritise enforcement against companies that take advantage of the current situation through illegal behaviour, such as coordinating prices or limiting the production of certain goods.

Supreme Court judgment on legality of consortium agreement
Denmark | 23 January 2020

The Supreme Court recently rendered a much-anticipated judgment on the legality of consortium agreements under competition law. The court repealed a Maritime and Commercial High Court decision from 2018 in a case concerning a consortium agreement between two companies regarding their joint bid on a public tender for road marking work. This ruling marks an increasingly restrictive practice, which may affect forms for cooperation other than consortia.

CAT upholds decision on outdoor media owners' discount rates
Denmark | 12 December 2019

The Competition Appeals Tribunal recently upheld a decision by the Competition Council which found that two outdoor advertising companies, Clear Channel Danmark A/S and AFA JCDecaux A/S, had coordinated discount rates through an agreement. The council found that this anti-competitive behaviour had continued as a concerted practice for several years after the agreement had expired.

Fines issued for cartel activity, price coordination and non-notification of merger
Denmark | 03 October 2019

Several fines were handed out during Summer 2019 for Competition Act infringements. A group of cases regarding bid rigging in the demolition and plumbing industries were settled with fines issued to companies and management. In addition, the Danish association of camera distributors agreed to pay a fine for price coordination and Circle K Denmark A/S was fined for infringing merger control rules.

Maritime and Commercial Court finds HMN and competitors guilty of illegal price coordination agreement
Denmark | 25 July 2019

The Maritime and Commercial Court recently upheld a decision by the Competition Appeals Board which had found that a price coordination agreement between HMN Naturgas I/S, two sub-contractors and a trade association had as its object the restriction of competition. An interesting takeaway from the judgment is that the Maritime and Commercial Court viewed separable components of an agreement in isolation.

Recent restrictive agreement decisions
Denmark | 09 May 2019

In recent months there have been a number of significant cases concerning restrictive agreements in Denmark. For example, a cooperative purchasing society was found guilty of coordinating prices, several judgments were issued regarding cartel infringement in the form of bid rigging in the demolition industry and a company executive was fined for imposing minimum resale prices on hair products.

Competition Council finds that Falck abused its dominant position
Denmark | 21 February 2019

The Competition Council recently handed down a highly publicised decision finding that the ambulance and assistance company Falck Danmark A/S had abused its dominant position on the Danish market for ambulance and pre-hospital support services by establishing and carrying out a general strategy to exclude its competitor from the market.

Recent decisions on excessive pricing, abuse of dominance, cartel penalties and gun jumping
Denmark | 20 December 2018

There were a number of significant events in Danish competition law in Autumn 2018. For example, one of Denmark's most significant abuse of dominance cases ended following the High Court of Western Denmark's issuance of its final decision. Further, the Competition Appeals Tribunal confirmed that Swedish pharmaceutical distributor CD Pharma AB had abused its dominant position and a widely discussed gun-jumping case was finally decided after a preliminary ruling from the European Court of Justice.

Standard setting in roofing felt business was not by object infringement
Denmark | 18 October 2018

The Competition Appeals Tribunal recently rendered a decision in a case concerning the possible coordination of conduct regarding industry standards in the roofing felt business. The tribunal remitted the case to the Competition Council for renewed assessment because of an insufficient by object assessment. The so-called 'by object box' has been widely debated among legal professionals in Denmark and the rest of the European Union.

Maritime and Commercial High Court judgment on legality of consortium agreement
Denmark | 13 September 2018

The legality of consortium agreements under competition law has been widely debated in recent years. The Maritime and Commercial High Court recently rendered a much-anticipated judgment on this subject and repealed the competition authorities' 2015 and 2016 decisions in a case concerning a consortium agreement between two companies regarding their joint bid on a public tender for road marking work.

Decision on excessive pricing in electricity sector repealed, but it's not over yet
Denmark | 19 July 2018

One of Denmark's biggest abuse of dominance cases is coming to an end following the High Court of Western Denmark's issuance of its final decision, which repealed the Competition Council's decision. However, the Competition and Consumer Authority has sought permission to appeal the case to the Supreme Court. The case shows the importance of economic analysis in abuse of dominance cases. Establishing excessive pricing requires extensive economic analysis and there seems to be a high bar for proof.

First Danish cartel case with risk of imprisonment
Denmark | 17 May 2018

The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority recently reported a case of bid rigging in the demolition industry to the State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime. Six companies and a number of executives from each company have now been charged. This is the first case in Denmark in which the defendants risk imprisonment due to the infringement of competition law. Prison sentences for such offences were introduced in 2013.

Competition Council finds that CD Pharma abused its dominant position
Denmark | 05 April 2018

The Competition Council recently found that Swedish pharmaceutical distributor CD Pharma AB had abused its dominant position in Denmark by charging excessive prices. The Competition Council ordered CD Pharma not to engage in similar behaviour in future and referred the case to the State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime for criminal prosecution.