International Antitrust Law & Policy: Fordham Corporate Law 2005 - Hardcover
International Antitrust Law & Policy: Fordham Corporate Law 2005 - PDF
COMPETITION LAW ENFORCEMENT
IN SWEDEN AND IN THE EU—
Christer A. Holm†
In regards to the recently submitted Government report “Competition
crime – a Legislative Model” (SOU 2004:131), the question of making it a
criminal offence to infringe the prohibitions on anticompetitive behaviour
has, once again, become updated in the legal debate in Sweden. There are
also other signs of a more extensive approach in applying competition law,
both in Sweden and in the EU, as can be seen in, for example, arbitration
disputes. Another example of the expanding scope of competition law is the
controversial EU Commission decision in the AstraZeneca case.1 This article
will focus on the present trends of the scope of competition law and the
stricter enforcement of it in Sweden and the EU.
I. CRIMINALIZATION OF COMPETITION LAW
A. History of Criminalization Rules in Sweden
The Competition Limitation Act of 1953,2 as well as the Competition
Act from 1982,3 contained the possibility to sentence a party participating
in activities infringing competition to prison as well as administrative
fines. According to the Competition Limitation Act, participation in bid
rigging cartels and price fixing were illegal. Price cartels, on the other
hand, were not criminalized. The penalties for breach of these rules were
administrative fines or prison up to one year. The Competition Act of 1982
also criminalized bid rigging cartels and price fixing. The penalties were
slightly more severe than those in the Competition Limitation Act. The
penalty for serious offences (for example organized cartels and repeated
anticompetitive conduct) was two years’ imprisonment. Furthermore, not
only intentional but also negligent infringements on the prohibition of bid
rigging cartels were criminalized.
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