Market Court imposes fines on the Finnish Bakery Federation for forbidden price recommendations

The Market Court has imposed a EUR 15,000 penalty to the Finnish Bakery Federation’s unlawful price recommendations in 2007–2011. The Market Court’s decision is in line with the penalty proposal made by the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA), although the penalty sum is smaller than proposed.

According to the Market Court’s decision, the Finnish Bakery Federation’s press releases, newsletters to members and the editorials of the Leipuri magazine have contained recommendations whose purpose has been to raise the prices of bakery products on a national scale. Recommendations for price increases are by nature a serious restriction of competition.

Forbidden price recommendations given by a trade association are a case of unlawful collaboration between competitors, comparable to a cartel. Such recommendations are likely to harmonise pricing between businesses operating within the industry and to encourage them to raise prices regardless of their own cost structures. The FCCA has previously addressed violations of the Competition Act committed by the Finnish Hairdressers’ Association and the Finnish Association of Appliance Service Centres.

After familiarising itself with the decision, the FCCA will decide whether it will appeal against the penalty sum before the Supreme Administrative Court.

FCCA proposes a penalty to the Finnish Bakery Federation for forbidden price recommendations. FCCA press release, 24 June 2015

Further information:
Johanna Nyländen, Head of Research, tel. +358 29 505 3606
Timo Mattila, Director General, tel. +358 29 505 3332