Nightclubs are fined for market sharing agreement

A large number of nightclubs and their jointly owned purchasing company have agreed not to open nightclubs in each other’s towns or within a radius of 20 kilometres from one another. The nightclubs have accepted to pay fines for infringing the Danish Competition Act.

The infringements for the individual companies were of different duration ranging from one year and nine months and up to fifteen years and ten months. The sizes of the fines are between DKK 28,000 and DKK 278,000.

The sizes of the fines take into account the gravity and duration of the infringements as well as the turnover of the companies. However, the sizes of the fines are low compared to fines for similar infringements due to the fact that fines are capped at ten percent of a company’s total turnover in the previous financial year. In these cases, the fines are calculated based on the turnover in 2020, where the nightclubs were closed for part of the year due to covid-19.

As a mitigating circumstance, the nightclubs have acknowledged to have violated the law and have cooperated with the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority in settling the cases.

It is the first time that the Danish Competition Council issues settlement decisions after an amendment of the Danish Competition Act that entered into force on 4 March 2021.