In June 1997 the Danish Parliament adopted a new Act on Competition (No. 384), bringing Danish competition law into line with EU competition principles. The provisions of the new Act come into force on January 1 1998.
The Act prohibits agreements or concerted practices which, directly or indirectly, limit or distort competition, and applies to both private and public sector businesses. However, with certain exceptions, it applies only to cases where the participating businesses have either a combined annual turnover of at least DKr1 billion (US$148 million) and an aggregate market share in excess of 10%, or a combined annual turnover of at least DKr150 million. The Minister of Commerce is empowered to issue group exemptions. In addition, on application to the Competition Agency, individual exemptions may be granted on the basis of specified criteria, including that the agreement or practice improves production or distribution efficiency or promotes technological development. Businesses may request from the Competition Agency clearance for certain agreements. Agreements that violate the prohibitions will be terminated and fines may be imposed.
The new Act also prohibits abuse of a dominant position, and with certain exceptions requires notification of mergers and acquisitions to the Competition Agency after they have been completed. No clearance from the Competition Agency is required before the transaction but failure to notify the Competition Agency after completion is punishable by a fine.