16. december 2015
Botjek A/S has proposed commitments in order to ensure that the members of the Botjek chain are free to compete with each other to perform building condition reports, reports on the conditions of electrical installations and Energy Performance Certificats (EPC). The Danish Competition Council has made Botjek A / S' commitments binding.
Botjek A/S is the management company for the Botjek chain, which consists of 23 independent building surveyors (“Botjek-partners”), specializing in producing building condition reports, reports on the conditions of electrical installations and Energy Performance Certificats (EPC).
Following an inspection at Botjek A/S, The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (DCCA) found material showing, that Botjek A/S had assigned a geographical area of Denmark to each of the Botjek-partners. The material furthermore indicated, that the Botjek-partners were generally not allowed to produce reports or market themselves outside their assigned areas, and that orders placed on Botjek A/S’ homepage were assigned to the Botjek-partner, who had been assigned the area, from which the order came.
Subsequently Botjek A/S informed the DCCA, that the chain had earlier operated with a “consensus-model”, where a Botjek-partner wishing to produce a report in another area, than the one he had been assigned, would have to get permission from the Botjek-partner, who had been assigned the area, in which the report was to be produced. However, Botjek A/S stated, that the chain following the inspection by the DCCA had given up this practice with the effect that the Botjek-partners were now free to perform reports in all areas of Denmark.
In December 2015 the Danish Competition Council (DCC) assessed the case. The DDC concluded that Botjek A/S is an association of undertakings. The Danish Competition Council also found, that the association, Botjek A/S, may possibly have adopted a decision to share the market between the Botjek-partners. Such a decision may have had the object of restricting the competition between the Botjek-partners within the meaning of section 6 of the Danish Competition Act.
Botjek A/S has proposed commitments in order to address the Danish Competition Council’s concerns in the case. Botjek A/S has committed to not encourage or participate in limiting the Botjek-partner’s ability to produce reports in any area. Botjek A/S has also committed to change its partner agreements with individual Botjek-partners and internal guidelines, cease using the “consensus-model” in the future and amend the company’s website, so consumers in the future have the possibility to choose any Botjek-partner.
On 16th of December 2015, the DCC made Botjek A/S' commitments binding. The DCC concluded , that the commitments proposed by Botjek A/S ensure, that members of the Botjek chain are free to compete with each other. The decision underlines the fact, that independent companies are competitors, even if they are a part of the same chain.
Read the Competition Council's decision (Danish)
Last updated: 16. december 2015