Denmark: Real estate chain and the Danish Association of Chartered Estate Agents sentenced to fines for unlawful boycott

30. January 2018

On January 30, 2018, the City Court of Copenhagen passed sentence upon the real estate chain EDC-Gruppen A/S and the Danish Association of Chartered Estate Agents for infringing section 6 of the Danish Competition Act.

The infringement concerned a boycott of the company Boliga.dk that runs a real estate search engine. EDC-Gruppen A/S and the Danish Association of Chartered Estate Agents entered into a concerted practice with a number of other real estate chains about boycotting Boliga.dk by telling the members of the chains - that are independent estate agents - that they should not provide pictures of properties for sale to Boliga.dk.

EDC-Gruppen A/S was fined DKK 1 million (€ 134.000) and the Danish Association of Chartered Estate Agents was fined DKK 250.000 (€ 34.000).

The infringement took place in a period of 10-11 months in 2009 and 2010.

The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority took up the case on the basis of a tip from the company Boliga.dk and conducted inspections back in 2010.

In 2012 the Danish Competition Council issued an administrative decision in the case that was then handed over to the State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime to undergo criminal proceedings.

In 2016 the State Prosecutor gave all the companies in the case the possibility to enter into settlements with the State Prosecutor. Danbolig A/S, Nykredit Mægler A/S, Home A/S, Realmæglerne Holding A/S, Danske Selvstændige Ejendomsmæglere and a number of persons from the managements decided to enter into settlements. In total fines of almost DKK 12 million (€ 1.600.000) were payed.

EDC-Gruppen A/S and the Association of Chartered Estate Agents would not enter into settlements thus these cases were brought to court.