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Agreement for Dansk Retursystem - the Remainder

17. december 2003

Journal nr.3/1120-0301-0293/VAR/FI The Council meeting 17. December 2003

Summary

1. Dansk Retursystem A/S has the exclusive right to administer the deposit and return system for returnable packaging for beers and soft drinks. Thus the company has considerable influence on the terms of competition for the suppliers and the intermediaries.

2. Dansk Retursystem is owned by the largest suppliers which control the company according to their market shares. It has been agreed that the intermediaries’ interests shall be safeguarded in a separate agreement – "the Remainder". This agreement has been entered into between the largest suppliers on the one side and representatives from the convenience goods sector on the other. Horeca (hotels and restaurants) is not party to the agreement. The agreement was entered into in 2000 but amended in 2003 after the Danish Environmental Protection Agency had implemented the new rules on depositing and recycling. These rules were more far-reaching than foreseen by the parties. Consequently the scope of the agreement was reduced – hence the name "the Remainder".

3. Bryggeriforeningen (the Danish Brewers’ Association) and De Samvirkende Købmænd (trade association for Danish grocers) have notified The Danish Competition Authority of the agreement in order to obtain a non-intervention statement under section 9 or an exemption pursuant to section 8 (1).

4. The Danish Competition Authority is of the opinion that a non-intervention statement pursuant to section 9 can be granted. The reason is that the clauses in the agreement do not contain serious restrictions of competition such as price or market sharing agreements. Nor does the agreement contain other clauses regulating the parties’ competitive behaviour comprised by section 6 (1). The clauses in the agreement are of an organisational nature and pertain to company law issues including clauses on right of veto, right of voting etc. Thus the parties have not planned any adjustment of their behaviour that otherwise could be covered by section 6 (1).