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ITD has exchanged illegal information with its members – case decided upon by the Competition appeals board

30. november 2009

On 25 February 2009 the Danish Competition Council (DCC) decided on a case concerning exchange of information by an association of undertakings which had as object to restrict competition. The case regarded the Danish freight transport association, International Transport Danmark (ITD), which has created and published (i) a pre-fulfilled cost calculating program for freight transport by road, (ii) a version of the pre-fulfilled cost calculation program above including index figures (iii) a cost forecast for freight transport by road, (iv) a specific rate for waiting hours and (v) has continuously recommended the transportation companies to pass on oil-related costs to the members’ customers.

The DCC decided that the exchange of information by ITD had as its object to restrict competition by coordinating the conduct of the members and thereby unifying member’s prices. In continuation hereof, the DCC found that the information provided by ITD to its members conflicts with section 6 of the Danish Competition Act and Article 81 in the EC-Treaty.

The relevant markets were defined as 1) a market for domestic transportation services and 2) a market for international transportation services on routes or network of routes to and from Denmark and a foreign country. The exchange of information thereby influences competition between member states.

ITD is the largest association for Danish transport companies transporting freight by road, mainly cross-border. Only Danish companies can be members of ITD. ITD has approximately 420 members, which all together has around 7,000 lorries. The members have 25 percent of the international freight permissions issued in Denmark, and 16 percent of the national freight permissions.

ITD appealed the case to the Competition Appeals Board (CAB). The CAB upheld the DCC’s decision regarding items (i) – (iv). The CAB repealed the DCC’s decision regarding ITD’s (v) recommendation to the transportation companies to pass on oil-related costs to the members’ customers. The CAB stated that ITD’s recommendations was of a general nature and did not concern the passing on of specific costs.