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Outdoor media owners illegally agreed to fix discounts for several years

20. December 2018

The two competing media owners Clear Channel Danmark A/S and AFA JCDecaux A/S, who both sell advertising space in outdoor-media, agreed to common discounts in violation of the Danish Competition Act.

Chairman of the Danish Competition Council states:

“Fixing rebates and discounts is as harmful and illegal as fixing prices. Agreements on common discounts entail that the enterprises involved do not compete to provide their customers with the highest discounts. In this case, the illegal conduct has been on-going for several years and may have harmed media agencies and the advertisers, who purchase advertising space in outdoor-media.”

The Danish Competition Council has decided that the two outdoor media owners Clear Channel Danmark A/S and AFA JCDecaux A/S has entered into an illegal agreement and/or concerted practice to maintain certain fixed discounts when selling advertising space in outdoor media.

The Council has ordered Clear Channel Danmark and AFA JCDecaux to cease the illegal behavior and to abstain from similar activities in the future. Furthermore, the Council has decided, subject to the outcome of a possible appeal before the Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal, to refer the case to the State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime, which may lead to the imposition of fines.

Outdoor media generally consist of any advertising space, which is physically located outside the consumer’s home. Examples include posters and billboards at bus stops, train stations, airports, shopping malls and around city centers. In 2010, Clear Channel and AFA JCDecaux agreed to maintain common rates for “media commission”, “security compensation” and “information compensation”. These rates where applied until at least April 21st 2015. Between October 14th 2009 until December 31th 2010, the companies also agreed on a common rate for a cash reimbursement discount.

The total sales of outdoor-advertisement space amounts to approximately 405 million DKK annually.

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