Leniency and reductions of fines
According to the Competition Act, an undertaking may be exempted from fines if it discloses its participation in an illegal anti-competitive cooperation to the Swedish Competition Authority (the Competition Authority).
There are different types of leniency:
- First type of leniency
The Competition Authority will grant an undertaking immunity from any fine which would otherwise have been imposed if:
- The undertaking is the first to notify the Competition Authority of an anti-competitive cooperation, and
- The notification submitted by the undertaking contains information which will enable the Competition Authority to carry out a targeted inspection.
To be granted immunity the undertaking must also satisfy the following cumulative cooperation conditions:
1. It provides all information concerning the infringement (i.e. the illegal anti-competitive cooperation),
2. It co-operates fully with the Competition Authority,
3. It does not destroy evidence or hinder the Competition Authority’s investigation, and
4. It ends its involvement in the illegal cooperation.
Immunity from fines will not be granted, however, if the undertaking has coerced another undertaking to participate in the illegal anti-competitive cooperation.
- Second and third type of leniency
In cases where the Competition Authority did have enough evidence to take action against the anti-competitive cooperation and no undertaking has met the conditions of the first type of leniency, the Competition Authority will grant an undertaking immunity of any fine which would otherwise have been imposed if:
1. The undertaking is the first to submit evidence which in the Competition Authority’s view, enables the finding of an infringement (i.e. an illegal anti-competitive cooperation), or
2. The undertaking provides highly significant assistance to an investigation of the infringement.
To be granted immunity the undertaking must satisfy the cooperation conditions described under the first type of leniency. However immunity will not be granted if the undertaking has coerced another undertaking to participate in the illegal anti-competitive cooperation.
Reduction of fines
Undertakings that do not qualify for immunity may benefit from a reduction of any fine that would otherwise have been imposed. In order to qualify for a reduction of fines, the undertaking must provide the Competition Authority with evidence of the alleged illegal anti-competitive cooperation which represents significant added value relative to the evidence already in the Competition Authority’s possession at the time of the application.
In determining the appropriate level of fines the Competition Authority will consider whether any other undertaking already has provided the Competition Authority with evidence, which in the Authorities view represent significant added value to the investigation.
To qualify for a reduction of fines the undertaking must meet the same cooperation conditions as described under leniency.
Further details on the rules are to be found in the General Guidelines of the Swedish Competition Authority.
Be the first to tell -
a film about leniency
An undertaking wishing to notify its participation in an illegal anti-competitive cooperation and be granted immunity of a fine or reduction of a fine is invited to contact the Competition Authority. The contact information is:
Tel: +46-8-700 15 99 (weekdays 8.00 AM - 5.00 PM)
fax: +46-8-700 15 98
It is possible for an undertaking to contact the Competition Authority anonymously.
The Competition Authority accepts leniency notifications in English.