New Danish Competition Law as per 1 August 2002


1. In future, questions as to whether an anti-competitive practice is a direct or necessary consequence of public regulation shall be determined by the minister responsible, cf. s. 2(4).

2. The statements of the Danish Competition Council under s. 2(5) shall in future be given to both the relevant minister as well as the Minister for Economic and Business Affairs. The deadline for reply is now four months (previously three months).

3. Clarification of the fact that an agreement to establish a joint venture may be covered by the prohibition in s. 6, cf. the new provision in s. 6(2)(vi).

4. Horizontal pricing agreements are covered by the prohibition against anti-competitive agreements - irrespective of the de minimis rules (cf. the new wording of s. 7(2)(i)).

5. In future, the decision of the relevant supervisory board or the Minister for the Interior regarding the legitimacy of aid granted according to public regulation shall be made within four weeks, cf. the amendment of s. 11a(3).

6. It is now clearly stated in the Act (s. 13(2)) that also the Competition Council's decisions must be published. However, this does not apply if the decision is of no importance for the understanding of the application of the Competition Act or if it is of no interest to the public.

7. Authority to use electronic communication to and from the Competition Council, the Competition Authority and the Competition Appeals Tribunal has been included in the Act (s. 15 b).

8. Investigations: (1) New wording of s. 18(1), but the content is the same as before. However, "electronic data" has been left out and it now applies to information "irrespective of the information medium". (2) The Competition Authority is entitled to get access to the premises of an "external data processor" (cf. s. 18(2)), if the information of an undertaking is stored there and if the Competition Authority is unable to access the information in any other way. (3) In exceptional cases, documents or media may be seized for the purpose of making copies. As a general rule, the documents etc. must be returned no later than three working days from the investigation, cf. s. 18(4).

9. The fines imposed for infringing the Competition Act have been increased. The fines shall no longer be based on "Danish legal tradition for infringement of other commercial legislation". In future, the principles used by the Commission shall apply - but on a lower level. The basic amounts are as follows: Minor infringements: From DKK 10,000 to DKK 400,000. Serious infringements: From DKK 400,000 to DKK 15 million. Very serious infringements: From DKK 15 million. In addition to the grossness and the duration of the infringement, the turnover of the company may be taken into consideration. This applies to the turnover in respect of all goods produced or distributed by the company and not only the turnover in respect of the goods that are part of the relevant market. The explanatory notes elaborate on aggravating and mitigating circumstances, respectively.