FCCA concludes investigation into the KTK transport service system

The attention of the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) has been drawn to the contractual terms (which may restrict competition) of the Kuljetuskeskusten liitto – a national association of Finnish transport centres – and KTK companies offering logistical services. As the association and the companies have amended their terms and conditions, the FCCA will take no further action in the matter.

A total of around 50 KTK companies offering transport and logistical services operate in Finland, from around 120 sites across the country. Taken together, these companies form the KTK transport service system. More than 4,000 entrepreneurs representing the transport sector participate in the system.

KTK companies sell and market the services offered by the entrepreneurs who own the companies, including the transport of freight, delivery of goods, the sale and transport of soil, and services involving demountable platforms for trucks, crane trucks, special transport and machinery. A total of 38 KTK companies are members of the central organisation of this sector, Kuljetuskeskusten liitto r.y (KKL) – the national association of Finnish transport centres.

The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority initiated its investigation into the KTK transport service system in April 2014. The investigation brought to light contractual terms, which may restrict competition, in the transporter contracts concluded between KTK companies and entrepreneurs engaged in transport services, and in the contract templates used by the Kuljetuskeskusten liitto.

The FCCA found it problematic that KTK companies fixed the pricing of the services offered by the transport service entrepreneurs and obliged them to invoice their services via KTK companies. The terms also stated that the services offered by transport service entrepreneurs are subject to a licence and that their vehicles must be tied to use by KTK companies. Transport service entrepreneurs were also subjected to a long competition prohibition period. These terms hampered and restricted the engagement of transport service entrepreneurs in other business unrelated to the KTK system.

After the FCCA had drawn attention to the matter, certain KTK companies revised their transporter contracts, and Kuljetuskeskusten liitto adjusted its contract templates by removing and amending any contractual terms that may restrict competition. The FCCA has concluded its action in the matter.