Antitrust damages in Sweden

Justice requires that companies and persons that have been victims of competition law infringements, such as cartels or abuses of dominant positions, receive proper compensation for their losses suffered as a consequence of the infringements.

“Historically, it has been difficult to obtain compensation for victims of competition law infringements in Sweden but following Sweden’s implementation of the EU damages directive and the two recent TeliaSonera-cases this may be about to change” comments Competition law specialist Fredrik Lindblom, Cederquist.

The telecom incumbent TeliaSonera (now Telia) has been ordered to pay damages in the total amount
of MSEK 275 (MSEK 35 + MSEK 240), following the finding by the Swedish Market Court (now the
Patent and Market Court) that TeliaSonera had abused its dominant position in the wholesale market for broadband network access through its subsidiary Telia Internet by engaging in market squeeze practices. The cases are currently under appeal with one judgement expected to be delivered by the end of the month (June 2017) and the second during the autumn/winter (2017/2018).

Sweden was the first country in the European Union to implement the Damages Directive, aiming to simplify for those affected by competition infringements to receive just compensation.

“We have seen an increased interest from our clients and believe that it is just a question of time before we see many more cases involving so -called ‘follow-on damages’. However, this requires, as EU Commissioner Vestager several times has noted, that the national courts apply the EU rules accurately and impartially” comments Elsa Arbrandt, specialist at Dispute Resolution, Cederquist.

“One potential issue in many cases is the Swedish rules on statutory limitation regarding competition law infringements, but the rules can certainly be questioned from the perspective of, inter alia, the EU effectiveness principle”, she continues.

For more reading, please see the recently published article in Private Competition Enforcement Review, where Fredrik Lindblom and Elsa Arbrandt deal extensively with the Swedish material and procedural rules applicable to private enforcement of competition law.

Authors, Fredrik Lindblom and Elsa Arbrandt.

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