17. december 2008
On the 17th of December 2008 the Danish Competition Council (DCC) has decided on a case concerning exchange of information by an association of undertakings which had as object to restrict competition. The case regards the Danish Freight Transport Association, Dansk Transport og Logistik (DTL), which has created and published (i) a pre-fulfilled cost calculating program for freight transport by road, (ii) has stated a profit ratio on 10 respectively 15 percent in some pre-fulfilled examples of the cost calculating program, (iii) has published a cost forecast for freight transport by road as well as (iv) an electronic calculating program concerning price increases on oil and (v) has continuously requested the transportation companies to regulate (or introduce) a so-called “oil clause” in their transport contracts.
The relevant market in the current case is defined as domestic freight forwarding services by road in Denmark.
DTL is the largest association for Danish transport companies transporting freight by road including approximately 3.100 members. The purpose of DTL is to handle political and economic interests of the Danish transport and logistic industry. Beyond this, DTL also advices its members individually on legal and economic matters as well as elaborating general guidelines for its members.
The cost calculating program was a cost model which – among other things – computed costs per kilometre or per hour for a truck. According to the model, the members had the option to pre-fulfil the model with data from DTL such as fixed cost, variable cost etc. The only variables left for the members to fill in were time and distance for the transport. The calculating program could then be used to compose an offer for transport clients on a given task.
The cost forecast also computed a total expected percentage increase in costs for the following year.
DTL has continuously requested the transportation companies to regulate (or introduce) the oil clause in their transport contracts. DTL made the request to its members by newsletters, by statements in newspaper articles, etc.
The assessment of the question of whether DTL has acted in conflict with section 6 in the Danish Competition Act has led to the conclusion that the object of DTL providing the above mentioned information to its members was to coordinate prices, thereby restricting competition. In continuation hereof, the DCC found that the information provided by DTL to its members conflicts with section 6 of the Danish Competition Act.
On 13 January 2009 DTL has appealed the case to the Competition Appeals Board