Taxi services in Finland are about to face their biggest reformation in history as the Act on Transport Services enters into force on 1 July 2018. The field, that until now has been heavily regulated, will transfer to a market-based system at one fell swoop. This will also change the role and duties of the competition authority in the field of taxi services. The FCCA has published on its website information for taxi service operators on what aspects will be paid special attention to in competition policy enforcement.
The FCCA, and previously the Finnish Competition Authority, have been contacted numerous times over the years regarding competition restrictions on the taxi service market. However, the FCCA has not investigated these cases, because investigations and intervening with any restrictions would not have resulted in increased competition due to heavy regulation on the market.
As a result of the new legislation, starting from 1 July 2018, the FCCA will intervene with taxi service practices that have adverse effects on consumers, restrict competition and prevent the market from opening up. These practices include harmful cooperation between competing companies, such as cartels, and abuse of market dominance that prevents competition in the dispatch service and taxi service markets. The FCCA website provides detailed examples of such practices and on how the FCCA assesses their harmfulness.
It is the responsibility of each company to assess whether their own operations meet the provision of the Competition Act. The FCCA does not have the authority to approve practices between companies in advance. Instead, competition restraints are intervened with based on a retrospective assessment. As the regulation in the field changes, it is difficult to predict the exact form the taxi service market will take and what effects different practices employed by businesses will have. However, the FCCA will provide businesses with advice on what aspects should be taken into account when providing services.
Further information on competition policy enforcement in taxi services
Memorandum Opening the taxi service market for competition and focal points of competition policy enforcement related to taxi services
Additional information: Valtteri Virtanen, Assistant Director, tel. +358 29 505 3621, Harri Puskala, Senior Research Officer, tel. +358 29 505 3664, firstname.lastname@example.org