Consultancy firm Ecit Account A/S participated in night club market sharing cartel

On the 25th of October, The Danish Competition Council adopted a decision that consultancy firm Ecit Account A/S infringed section 6 of the Danish Competition Act by participating in the establishment and effectuation of a market sharing cartel comprised of a large number of night clubs and their jointly owned purchasing company. The infringement lasted for almost 16 years.

The decision shows that a consultancy firm is responsible for its contributions to a cartel even though it does not operate on the market affected by the cartel. In this regard, the contributions of a consultancy firm may distort competition no less than the contributions of other cartel participants.

As a consultant, Ecit Account has been a part of the illegal market sharing agreement where the night clubs had agreed not to open night clubs in each other’s towns or within a certain range from one another. Ecit Account has, inter alia, participated by:

  • having a leading role on the board of directors of the jointly owned purchasing company,
  • drafting the market sharing agreement and stressing the need for the agreement
  • actively participating in meetings where the market sharing agreement was discussed.

This case is one of several related cases concerning the night club market sharing cartel between 22 night clubs and their jointly owned purchasing company. These other companies have already accepted to pay fines for their participation in the infringement.

The Danish Competition Council has decided to bring this case before the Maritime and Commercial High Court in order to impose a fine on Ecit Acount.

For further information please contact Head of Communications, Hanne Arentoft: phone +45 4171 5098.

Read the decision here (in Danish)