Design company's use of resale price maintenance triggers a DKK 6 million fine
GUBI A/S has accepted to pay a fine of DKK 6 million for infringement of the prohibition of resale price maintenance. The size of the fine should be seen in the light of the fact that the company on its own initiative contacted the Competition and Consumer Authority and acknowledged the infringement of the competition rules.
The cause of the fine is that GUBI during a period of at least 2½ years had been entering into anti-competitive resale price maintenance agreements with the company's dealers. In those agreements, GUBI had included a provision to the effect that GUBI's recommended prices should be considered by the dealers as minimum prices. Accordingly, the recommended prices actually functioned as fixed resale prices.
In determining the fine, the Competition and Consumer Authority had regard to the duration and gravity of the infringement and the fact that the agreements included both vertical and horizontal elements. Finally, as usual, the Authority had regard to GUBI's revenue.
However, the size of the fine should be seen in the light of the fact that GUBI on its own initiative contacted the Competition and Consumer Authority and assisted the Authority in clarifying and settling the case. Furthermore, GUBI has submitted documentation proving their implementation of measures to prevent future resale price maintenance. These facts have been mitigating circumstances.
What is the lesson from this case?
This case shows you that it is possible – also outside the ordinary leniency framework – to reduce a fine if you cooperate with the competition authorities in solving a case of infringement of the competition rules.
In 2016, a fine imposed on Opel Danmark A/S was determined in the same way, taking into account the company's willingness to cooperate and subsequent submission of documentation for implementation of comprehensive compliance measures.
Read the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority's press release.
Read the signed fine notice (in Danish).