Horizontal agreements in the framework of Campingraadet

17. April 2018

The Danish Competition Appeal Tribunal has upheld the findings of the Danish Competition Council that the horizontal agreements described below, and entered into in the framework of the Danish umbrella organization “Campingrådet”, had as their object to restrict competition on the camping card market.

1) price fixing as to the sale of Camping Key Europe cards (CKE Camping card) from 446 Danish campsites; and

2) that the Danish campsites in question should only accept CKE as a valid camping card.

Furthermore, the Danish Competition Appeal Tribunal has found that the decision of the Danish Competition Council was rightly addressed to the association of Danish campsites, DK-CAMP.

The Danish Competition Council has decided to hand over the case to the State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime.

Case facts

A camping card is an identity document (the size of a credit card) used by consumers (campers) when checking in at campsites instead of handing over a passport or another identity card at the reception. A camping card may also include other benefits such as discounts and/or a liability insurance that covers the legal liability for damages caused to third parties during a stay at a campsite.

Campingrådet was a Danish umbrella organization composed of 12 associations representing campsite owners, campsite user organisations and other organisations, respectively.

Campingrådet is currently administered in bankruptcy proceedings. DK-CAMP is an association of approximately 300 independent campsite owners. DK-CAMP was a member of Campingrådet.

Campingrådet organized almost 90 percent of the campsites in Denmark. The campsites in question were represented in Campingrådet either via DK-CAMP or the member DCU, via the board of representatives or the board of directors. Furthermore, the campsites were subject to a collaboration agreement with Campingrådet (“The Agreement”). Under The Agreement the campsites were among other things obliged to sell the CKE camping card and to comply with the decisions of Campingrådet as to for instance the price of the CKE camping card. The CKE camping card was sold via the website of Campingrådet, at campsites and by a number of members of Campingrådet. Campingrådet carried out random inspections at campsites in order to ensure that campsites complied with the terms of The Agreement.

As a result of the horizontal agreements, only campsite users in possession of a valid CKE camping card or willing to buy a CKE camping card at a fixed price (110 kr.) were granted access to the 446 Danish campsites in question.