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The rules of The Danish Veterinary Employers' Association

26. oktober 2005

Journal nr. 3/1120-0301-0374/SEK/LOB The Council meeting of 26 October 2005

On 26 October 2005 the Danish Competition Council adopted a decision concluding that two articles in the rules of The Danish Veterinary Employers’ Association restrict competition and thereby infringe article 6 in the Danish Competition Act.

The Danish Veterinary Employers’ Association is an association under The Danish Veterinary Association which is a union for veterinary surgeons in Denmark. The first article stipulates that the right to negotiate contracts concerning prices which The Veterinary Association enters into is within The Employers’ Association. This means that agreements concerning prices for veterinary services which clients or other parties want to enter into with the Veterinary Association on behalf of all the Danish veterinarians, have to be negotiated by The Employers’ Association.

The second article stipulates that a veterinary cannot by himself enter into contracts with an institutional client (e.g. animal protection organizations). This means that if institutional clients desire to enter into contracts with one or more selected veterinarians, they must negotiate with The Danish Veterinary Employers’ Association.

The rules concern a professional association, and therefore these stipulations concern the right to negotiate agreements fixing prices on a horizontal level.

The Danish Competition Council concluded that the two articles restrict competition, and the Council has ordered The Danish Veterinary Employers’ Association to revoke them.

The Association also uses the first article to negotiate price agreements which either concern wages/working conditions, e.g. agreements on the supervising of Danish slaughterhouses, or price agreements which are permitted by law, e.g. provisions on payment for veterinary services concerning public fight against infectious animal diseases. The Danish Veterinary Employers’ Association will still be allowed to negotiate such agreements, and the revocation of the first article therefore does not concern these types of agreements.