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25 January 2024

New bill with significant changes on the Danish Competition Act in consultation

A bill including significant changes to the Danish Competition Act - especially within Danish merger control - is currently in consultation.

The Danish government presented a draft amendment to the Danish Competition Act shortly before the end of 2023, which is now out for consultation. The bill includes three main amendments all of which will imply significant changes compared to the current Danish Competition Act.

In headlines the main amendments include the following:

  1. Within merger control a “call-in” is introduced allowing for the Danish Competition Authority to require a notification of certain concentrations below the turnover thresholds,
  2. Introducing a market investigation tool for the Danish Competition Authority to be used when there is a suspicion that the market structure or the behaviour of market players is weakening competition.
  3. Introducing the EU Commissions guidelines as the guiding principle for setting fines in case of infringements. Principles for setting fines will hereafter be based on the turnover associated with the infringement and not only the gravity of the infringement, which will expectedly lead to higher fines in the future.
The bill has been criticised as the motives behind the tightening do not appear substantiated and as the bill creates legal uncertainty on several points. This is a concern that we generally agree to. 

Especially introducing the “call-in” for merger filings will be an additional regulatory aspect of Danish M&A transactions, which needs to be taken into consideration in future M&A deals.

If the bill is passed the amendments are to take effect from July 1, 2024.

Pernille Nørkær

Partner

+45 30 37 96 40

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