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Finland: Regulator is OK with €9M fine for bus cartel

 |  August 22, 2019

The Supreme Administrative Court has imposed penalty payments of approximately €9 million (US$9.98 million) in the bus cartel case. According to the Supreme Administrative Court, the parties have systematically hindered the opening of the bus market to competition, thereby harming consumers. While the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) is satisfied with the ruling, it also considers it to be important that guidelines for fines be created in Finland.

In January 2016, the FCCA submitted a proposal to the Market Court under which a penalty payment amounting to more than €30 million (US$33.3 million) should be imposed on the coach companies, the Finnish Bus and Coach Association, and Matkahuolto. Working in agreement, the companies sought to prevent market opening and the access to the market of new competitors. The parties in the cartel excluded new regular services from Matkahuolto’s Timetable and Ticket Purchase Services as well as Parcel Services.

In its ruling of December 2017, the Market Court found that the coach companies—the Finnish Bus and Coach Association and Matkahuolto—were guilty of a cartel, ordering each of them to pay a €100,000 (US$110,856) penalty payment for prohibited restriction of competition. The FCCA considered the penalty payments insufficient, appealing the case to the Supreme Administrative Court.

Full Content: KKV

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