Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal: FK Distribution has abused its dominant position
The Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal has upheld a June 2020 decision by the Danish Competition Council stating that FK Distribution abused its dominant position on the market for distribution of unaddressed mail (print circulars) in Denmark by tying its sale of distribution of print circulars in Denmark with its sale of viewing of circulars on its digital platform in Denmark.
Deputy Director General of the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority, Bitten Thorgaard Sørensen:
As the only nation-wide distributor of print circulars in Denmark, FK Distribution has a special responsibility not to restrict competition. However, FK Distribution used its market power on the market for distribution of unaddressed mail (print circulars) in Denmark to gain a competitive advantage, not based on its own merits, on the relatively new, but growing market for digital platforms for circulars in Denmark.
This conduct could harm FK Distributions competitors as well as customers, e.g. large supermarket chains and others who wish to advertise via print or digital circulars in Denmark.
In its’ decision, The Competition Appeals Tribunal states:
“The Competition Appeals Tribunal finds that the contractual tying concretely was capable of restricting competition by providing Forbruger-Kontakt with a certainty that the circulars of a large number of customers – including circulars from large and important customers – were shown on MineTilbud. Which on one the hand has ensured that Forbruger-Kontakt had more users on MineTilbud, and on the other hand – and thereby – has reduced the incentive of the customers to use and pay for the use of alternative digital platforms for circulars.”
The Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal has decided that FK Distribution has abused its dominant position. Thus, the decision of the Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal upholds the June 2020 decision of the Danish Competition Council.
In June 2020, the Danish Competition Council decided that FK Distribution abused its dominant position by tying its sale of distribution of print circulars in Denmark with its sale of viewing of circulars on its digital platform in Denmark. FK Distribution obliged its customers of print circulars to advertise and to pay for advertising via FK Distribution’s digital platforms, among others “minetilbud”.
As of 1 January 2018, FK Distribution was the only nation-wide distributor of print circulars in Denmark. The Danish Competition Council found that FK Distribution abused its dominant position from 2018 until October 2019.
In June 2020, the Danish Competition Council decided to report the case to the State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime for criminal prosecution.
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