Penalty of DKK 300,000 accepted in camping card case
DK-CAMP, a national association of Danish camping sites, has accepted a fixed penalty of DKK 300,000 notified by the Danish State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime (the “State Prosecutor”).The association breached the rules of the Danish Competition Act by demanding the use of one particular camping card and by exercising price maintenance on the sale of camping cards.
The State Prosecutor’s fixed penalty notice of 4 December 2019
By assistant attorney Sebastian Willigenburg Andersen
The case concerns DK-CAMP, a trade organisation of Danish camping sites, and the Danish Camping Board, an umbrella organisation of camping site trade organisations. At Camping Board meetings in the period 2011-2016, DK-CAMP decided that the so-called CKE camping card must be sold at a fixed price of DKK 110 and that campers would only be accepted at DK-CAMP camping sites on presentation of a valid CKE camping card. DK-CAMP camping sites were required, therefore, to turn away campers holding cards from competing organisations - e.g. ACSI Club ID.
The Danish Competition Council and the Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal ruled that these practices contravened section 6(1) of the Danish Competition Act and Article 101(1) TFEU, holding that the independent camping sites thereby engaged in unlawful price coordination and excluded competitors from the market.
Following the Competition Appeals Tribunal’s decision, the Competition Council reported the matter to the State Prosecutor for assessment of criminal liability. Having concluded its investigation the State Prosecutor presented DK-CAMP with a fixed penalty notice of DKK 300,000, which DK-CAMP has now accepted. The amount of the penalty has been determined in consideration of the organisation’s revenue, payment ability and solvency ratio, as well as the gravity and duration of the infringement.
The case shows that umbrella and trade organisations generally should be cautious not to coordinate their practices.
Click here for the fixed penalty notice
Click here for our previous news article on the Council’s decision
Click here for our previous news article on the Competition Appeals Tribunal’s decision