The Swedish Competition Authority (KKV) has decided its first leniency and fee (or fine) order case.
On 30 June 2009, the KKV issued a fee order directing Rundvirke Poles AB to pay an administrative fine of SEK 2,000,000 (approximately EUR 180,000). The order was accepted by Rundvirke Poles on 8 July.
Rundvirke Poles was found to have colluded with ScanPole Sverige AB in a cartel with reference to seven separate procurements of power-line bearing wooden poles. The cartel came to the attention of KKV when ScanPole Sverige in April 2007 filed a successful application for leniency.
Sweden has operated a leniency programme since 1 July 2002. Until this case, the only full leniency recipient has been a fairly small company caught up in Sweden’s largest cartel case to date, the so-called asphalt cartel, where the company as such was incidental to the KKV investigation.
While ScanPole Sverige has received complete leniency, the fine against Rundvirke Poles was reduced by 30% in recognition of the cooperation extended to the KKV in its investigation. The fine as calculated by the KKV draft guidelines on the method of setting fines was finally reduced by more than half, in consideration that the KKV guidelines have not yet been finalised.
The case is also the first time in which the KKV has utilised the right to decide a fee order in an uncontested case, which it gained under the new Competition Act of 2008.
KKV press release, 8 July 2009