Cartel agreements and other kinds of agreements which restrict competition between companies are prohibited because they can lead to higher prices and fewer choices for consumers. Therefore, companies involved in such anti-competitive agreements can be punished with multi-million-kroner fines. Natural persons can also be punished with fines and imprisonment.
Cartel agreements constitute serious economic crime
Cartel participation constitutes a very serious infringement of the Danish Competition Act. Companies can be punished with fines of more than DKK 20 million for having participated in a cartel. In some cases, however, there may be mitigating circumstances, in which case the fines may be lower.
It is not only the company that can be punished. Executives and board members may also be punished with fines of up to several hundred thousand kroner. In addition, persons who enter into cartel agreements or seek to initiate or otherwise contribute to a cartel agreement are also punishable by imprisonment. In serious cases, cartel agreements are punishable by 1½ years of imprisonment. In the case of particularly aggravating circumstances, the penalty may rise to 6 years of imprisonment.
Other kinds of infringement of the Danish Competition Act
Cartel agreements are not the only crime punishable under the Danish Competition Act. Other kinds of infringements of the Act, such as resale price maintenance or abuse of a dominant position, are also punishable by large fines for the company and its executives and board members.