In July 2022, the Supreme Administrative Court of Finland upheld the Market Court's decision to impose penalties on construction insulation manufacturers for participating in cartel conduct through price fixing.
In 2021, the Market Court found three insulation companies guilty for running a national price fixing cartel and imposed penalty payments of over 4 million EUR. The Finnish Consumer and Competition Authority (“FCCA”) granted one of the companies involved in the cartel immunity from the penalty payments as it was the first to contact the FCCA and provide information on the cartel. The Market Court's decision was mainly in line with the FCCA's proposal in 2018 to impose penalty payments.
The Market Court found that the insulation companies agreed on price increases for EPS insulations for 2013 and 2014, as well as the amount, timing and manner of execution of the increases, in meetings and telephone conversations. The Market Court found that the companies had jointly sought to increase the price level of EPS insulations and to improve their profit margin by means of price fixing covering the whole of Finland. The price increases were scheduled to take place precisely when the seasonal demand peaked, which underlined the harmful nature of the cartel.
The Supreme Administrative Court came to the same conclusion and stated there were no grounds to change the Market Court's decision. It confirmed that the Market Court's assessment was not only based on oral testimony, but also in written reports.
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