Fines for Finnish asphalt cartel

30 September 2009

Finland's Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) has handed down fines totalling € 82.55 million to seven companies found guilty of operating a nation wide asphalt cartel between 1994 and 2002.

In a long running case, the Finnish Competition Authority (FCA) initially proposed fines of € 97 million in 2004, following investigations that uncovered the cartel. These were subsequently reduced to € 19.4 million on appeal by the country's Market Court. However, the FCA went on to appeal this decision on the grounds that it was too lenient, which led to the latest, final ruling by the SAC.

A statement from the FCA said, "The FCA finds it positive that the Supreme Administrative Court increased the amount of penalties. The FCA finds the decision significant for anti-cartel policy."

The largest fine - € 68 million - was given to Lemminkäinen, up € 54 million from the € 14 million penalty announced in the 2007 Market Court ruling. The company says it will book the extra expense in its third quarter figures, and will make a loss for the year as a result.

The company also says it is now expecting claims for damages from various municipalities and the Finnish Road Administration, following the SAC's ruling. Lemminkäinen says it believes these to be unfounded.

It also added it now has strict policies in place to prevent future transgressions of competition law. "Lemminkäinen will not, under any circumstances, approve of the use of illegal procedures in its operations. Over the years, special efforts have been made within the Group to intensify training in issues concerning competition law and to provide related instructions," it said in a statement.

The other companies and their fines were: VLT Trading - € 4.8 million, NCC Roads - € 4.6 million, Skanska Asfaltti - € 4.5 million, SA-Capital - € 0.5 million, Rudus Asfaltti - € 0.1 million and Super Asfaltti - € 0.05 million.


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Andy Brown Editor, Editorial, UK - Wadhurst Tel: +44 (0) 1892 786224 E-mail: [email protected]
Neil Gerrard Senior Editor, Editorial, UK - Wadhurst Tel: +44 (0) 7355 092 771 E-mail: [email protected]
Catrin Jones Deputy Editor, Editorial, UK – Wadhurst Tel: +44 (0) 791 2298 133 E-mail: [email protected]
Eleanor Shefford Brand Manager Tel: +44 (0) 1892 786 236 E-mail: [email protected]