The Competition Authority has fined Icelandic transport company Eimsip ISK 310 million (USD 4.9 million, EUR 3.4 million) for violations of competition laws in 2001 and 2002. Its main competitor Samskip is considering a lawsuit, but Eimskip plans to appeal the verdict.
“When the Competition Authority’s verdict is looked into it becomes evident that Eimskip had operations to systematically push Samskip out of the market,” Samskip CEO Ásbjörn Gíslason told Morgunbladid.
“It is surprising how organized and extensive the attack against Samskip was and simultaneously against free competition in the country,” Gíslason added.
The Competition Authority concluded that Eimskip had made a list of Samskip’s customers and then tried to persuade them to switch camps, as allegedly stated in a note delivered to Eimskip’s management on April 1, 2002. By May, 2002, Eimskip had acquired business agreements worth ISK 200 million (USD 3.2 million, EUR 2.2 million).
Eimskip issued a statement to the media saying the company does not understand why it took the Competition Authority such a long time to investigate the case; the authority searched Eimskip’s headquarters on September 4, 2002.
“The decision is surprising and it will be appealed,” the statement reads. “It is not right that Eimskip should pay for the long and unnatural delay of this case, caused by the Competition Authority.”
The Competition Authority explained the delay was caused by disagreement surrounding all the main factors in this case, among other things, how to define “market share.”