Energy companies accept fines in merger control case


Danish energy companies SEAS-NVE and SE have each accepted a fine of DKK 4 million for their failure to file a merger approval application with the Danish competition authorities back in 2012.
Fine notices of 20 June 2018 from the Danish State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime
By senior intern Sebastian Willigenburg Andersen and assistant attorney Kristine Langgaard Stage

On 1 February 2012, Danish energy companies SEAS-NVE and SE acquired joint control of the company Clever A/S (formerly ChoosEV), which provides charging solutions for electric vehicles. The companies acquired joint control by buying the shares and voting rights from the former owner, HICO ApS.

The acquisition of joint control constituted a merger that was subject to the application requirements set out in the merger control provisions of the Danish Competition Act, but SEAS-NVE and SE failed at the time to apply for the competition authorities' approval of the acquisition. However, in February 2017 the companies contacted the authorities, admitting the non-compliance. Subsequently, on 14 August 2017, they filed a simplified application, which was approved on 23 August 2017 without commitments.

Both energy companies have now accepted a fine of DKK 4 million each. The fines were imposed for the companies' failure to file the required application for approval of their transaction, and for having completed the transaction prior to the required regulatory approval.

The amount of the fines was determined with due regard to the seriousness and duration of the non-compliance and the revenue of the energy companies, but was mitigated by the fact that the companies themselves contacted the authorities and admitted their non-compliance.

Read the fine notices (in Danish).