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Market court rejected penalty proposal in power line cartel case – FCCA appeals

13.06.2016

On 31 October 2014, the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (“FCCA”) proposed that the Market Court impose a penalty of 35 Million Euros on power line constructors Eltel Networks Oy and Eltel Group Oy for unlawful collaboration with Empower Oy in power line design and construction contracts in Finland during the time period 2004–2011. Since Empower Oy had revealed the collaboration to the FCCA under the leniency regime, it was exempted from the penalty proposal.

The Market Court issued its decision in March 2016, rejecting the penalty proposal on the ground that it had been submitted after the five-year limitation period laid down in the Act on Competition Restrictions. According to the Act, the penalty proposal has to be made within five years after the unlawful behavior has ceased. In other words, the FCCA was required to prove that the alleged cartel was operating at least until 31 October 2009. The FCCA had proposed four different scenarios on the duration of the cartel, the earliest end date being 7 January 2010. However, the Market Court came to the conclusion that the provided evidence was not sufficient and the FCCA was ordered to pay Eltel’s legal expenses of 300,000 Euros.

The FCCA has appealed against the decision before the Supreme Administrative Court in the beginning of May 2016.

The Market Court’s decision can be found here (in Finnish).


For further information, please contact:
Asta Siponen
  • Asta Siponen
  • M: +358 50 0407 446
  • E: asta.siponen@procope.fi
Lotta Uusitalo

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