When the taxi industry opened up for competition in July 2018, the role and duties of the competition authority concerning the taxi industry changed. Before the market opened up, the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) published instructions for the taxi industry on its website regarding the priorities of competition enforcement on the taxi markets. Based on its investigations related to the taxi industry and the information it has received from parties in the field, the FCCA considered it necessary to clarify its instructions with regard to setting a maximum price and agreeing on driving shifts.
Setting a maximum price is price fixing which is generally forbidden between competitors. In its previous counselling to the taxi industry, the FCCA has considered that consumers may benefit from mutual agreements on maximum prices for example when ordering a taxi by phone or via an application. However, the consumers may have a justified expectation that the maximum price is applicable to all rides offered under the same trademark. The FCCA considers that, in principle, the potential consumer benefit gained from maximum pricing requires that the maximum price applies to all rides offered under the same trademark.
The updated instructions by the FCCA also emphasise that agreeing on driving shifts between competing drivers as a rule constitutes prohibited cartel activity. Investigations conducted by the FCCA have shown that competing drivers still agree on driving shifts on varying grounds. Agreeing on driving shifts between competitors may only be allowed in very exceptional circumstances, if the companies can prove that it benefits consumers and is necessary.
You can find more detailed information on the updates made by the FCCA via the links below. The authority continues to follow the development of the market, and it will also update its instructions in the future as needed.
Priorities of competition enforcement on the taxi markets
Memorandum on the focal points of competition policy enforcement related to taxi services (FCCA website) (in Finnish only)
Taksimarkkinat uudessa tilanteessa. “Ajankohtaista kilpailusta” blog on 1 February 2019 (in Finnish only)
Information on the focal points of competition policy enforcement related to taxi services. FCCA press release, 7 June 2018
Valtteri Virtanen, Assistant Director, tel. +358 29 505 3621
Research Officer Lauri Kirkkola tel. +358 29 505 3073