Under the Competition Act and EU competition rules, the activities of companies must not restrict competition. Your company may not take part in a cartel, excessively restrict your contractual partner’s activities or abuse its dominant market position.
Relations between companies are governed by the Competition Act and EU competition rules. Commercial competition is governed by the Competition Act and EU competition rules. Competition legislation is designed to safeguard healthy and well-functioning competition. The regulations prohibit companies from acting in ways that may restrict competition. In Finland, competition law compliance is monitored by the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority.
Competition legislation prohibits agreements and policies between competing companies that may restrict competition between them. The most serious of these restrictions are cartels (agreements between companies restricting competition). For example, your company may not agree on prices with competing companies. Agreements or policies between companies operating at different levels of production and distribution (for example an arrangement under which a distribution company sets the sales price) may also restrict competition.
Misuse of a dominant market position is also prohibited. A company in a dominant market position has the opportunity to influence the market price level, or other competitive conditions.
If your company is in breach of competition law, the Market Court may impose a penalty on the proposal of the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority. Your company may also be ordered to pay damages. The trials last for years, are expensive and significantly damage your company’s reputation. Your company may also be excluded from bidding for public contracts because of participation in a cartel. An agreement restricting competition is also invalid.
According to the Competition Act, major company acquisitions in excess of a certain level of turnover must be reported to the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority. If your company is a party to a large company acquisition, check whether the turnover limit under competition law is being exceeded.
Note that a company acquisition that is subject to notification may not be implemented before the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority has given its approval to it. This means that the parties to a company acquisition must operate as independent companies until the acquisition has been approved by the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority. The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority will issue its decision to approve the transaction or to start further investigations within 23 working days of the receipt of your notification.
The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority will prohibit the company acquisition if it significantly prevents competition in the market for example because it would create a dominant position in the market or reinforce an existing dominant position. In addition to prohibiting the acquisition, the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority may also impose conditions on the acquisition.