Answer ... The substantive rules are set out in the Competition Act (2008:579). The Competition Act came into force on 1 November 2008 and has since been amended several times. For an unofficial English version of the current Competition Act, see the Competition Authority’s website (www.kkv.se).
In addition, the Competition Authority has issued an ordinance setting out detailed rules for the notification of concentrations, together with an accompanying annex containing detailed guidance on the notification and examination of concentrations (KKVFS 2010:3). This is also available in English on the Competition Authority’s website. For guidance on the fundamental concepts of ‘concentrations’, ‘joint ventures’, ‘undertakings concerned’ and ‘turnover’ in the merger control legislation, the Competition Authority refers to the European Commission’s interpretative notice.
Answer ... Generally speaking, licences are not required to conduct business locally in Sweden. However, certain exceptions apply to specific sectors of the economy, including insurance, banking/financial services and broadcasting; although operators which have been approved by other EU/European Economic Area member states in these sectors may, in certain circumstances, benefit from mutual recognition of their foreign licences. If a Swedish licence is required, the regulatory agency may have to take competition policy into account. Under the Radio and Television Act, for example, an acquisition of a licence to broadcast television may not be approved by the Broadcasting Authority if the transfer would increase the concentration of ownership of those with licences to broadcast television by more than a limited extent. Sector-specific legislation must therefore be taken into account when considering the competition issues that may arise in connection with a concentration.
Answer ... The primary responsibility for applying the Swedish merger control legislation lies with the Swedish Competition Authority. The Competition Authority reviews notifications of concentrations and is empowered to clear them, either unconditionally or subject to remedies, or to prohibit them. The Competition Authority’s decisions can be appealed to the Patent and Market Court.
Since the merger control legislation entered into force in 1993, the Competition Authority has received 2,870 notifications (statistics as at mid-January 2020). The vast majority of cases were cleared in Phase I. Only 96 concentrations were subjected to a Phase II investigation and more than half of those were ultimately cleared without remedies.