Penalties for infringing the Danish Competition Act
Companies or individuals that infringe the Danish Competition Act intentionally or through gross negligence can be sanctioned with a fine. When fines are calculated, the starting point is the gravity and duration of the infringement. Furthermore, insofar as concerns companies, their turnover is also taken into account.
- The gravity of the infringement. When assessing the gravity of the infringement, a distinction is made between less serious, serious and very serious infringements.
In accordance with the preparatory works for the Danish Competition Act, the basic amount a company is fined for a less serious infringement should be up to DKK 4 million, the basis amount for a serious infringement should range from DKK 4 million to DKK 20 million, and the basic amount for a very serious infringement should be from DKK 20 million upwards.
In accordance with the preparatory works, the basic amount of a fine for a natural person who committed a less serious infringement should be at least DKK 50,000. The basic amount for a serious infringement should be at least DKK 100,000, and the basic amount for a very serious infringement should be at least DKK 200,000.
- Duration of the infringement. For both companies and persons, a distinction must be made between an infringement of shorter duration (less than one year), of medium duration (1-5 years) and of longer duration (over five years), with the size of the fine increasing with the duration of the infringement.
An infringement of shorter duration does not entail a surcharge to the basic amount determined according to the gravity of the infringement. A infringement of medium duration results in a surcharge of up to 50 percent of the basic amount set according to gravity, and an infringement of long duration entails a surcharge of 10 percent of the basic amount determined according to the infringement’s gravity for each year the infringement has taken place.
- Companies' turnover. When calculating the amount of a fine for a company, the company’s turnover must also be taken into account. A fine for a serious or very serious infringement must, according to the preparatory works for the Danish Competition Act, entail a significant cost for the company in relation to its turnover. The company's consolidated turnover is what is to be taken into account, as well as the turnover of all goods and services produced or distributed by the company.
If a company or person has participated in a cartel, the penalty may rise from fines to imprisonment for up to 1 year and 6 months. This requires the infringement of the Danish Competition Act to be intentional and aggravated, particularly due the scope of the infringement or the harmful effects it may cause.
In the case of particularly aggravating circumstances and if the infringement was intentional, the penalty for participating in a cartel may rise to imprisonment for up to six years.