The Finnish Parliament passed a bill on 28 May 2013 proposing a new section to the Competition Act according to which a Finnish grocery trade operator is automatically considered to be in a dominant market position in a nationwide market if its market share exceeds 30 per cent. This means that the two major operators of grocery trade, S and K Groups, must take into consideration the provision prohibiting the abuse of dominant position in their future activities. The amendment will enter into force 1 January 2014.
The amendment will not affect the structure of the Finnish grocery trade market, prevent grocery trade operators from growing or competing and will not impact the activities of local merchants in any other ways. Due to the amendment, the grocery trade operators whose market share exceeds 30 per cent should re-assess their pricing policies and other trading conditions.
Two major grocery trade operators have criticized the amendment in public for leading to higher retail prices and difficulties to buy local products. Most statements given on the proposal of the amendment however supported the amendment because it was held to increase competition in the grocery trade and decrease traditionally high retail prices of grocery goods in Finland.
Should you be interested in hearing more about the amendment, please contact Senior Associate, attorney-at-law Maarika Joutsimo on +358 50 338 8495 or email@example.com.