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Sweden

On July 1 1993, Sweden enacted new competition legislation. The Swedish Competition Act broadly conforms to the rules applying in the EU under the Treaty of Rome. As for notification of acquisitions, the Competition Act provides that the acquisition of a company or business (the object) in Sweden must be notified to the Swedish competition authority, Konkurrensverket, if the aggregate turnover of the purchaser and the object exceeds Skr4 billion (US$542 million) during the preceding business year. If the purchaser belongs to a group, the aggregate turnover of the entire group will be decisive when establishing the purchaser's turnover.

The fact that the aggregate turnover of the purchaser and the object is considered has had the practical effect that purchasers with a turnover of more than Skr4 billion have not been able to acquire any business in Sweden without notifying the authorities.

A committee reviewing the legislation has now proposed an amendment under which notifications would become unnecessary in many cases. In future, the committee proposes, only the turnover of the object will count, and the turnover of the purchaser will in principle be irrelevant. The authorities must be notified if the object has a turnover of more than Skr100 million. Otherwise, no notification is required unless the acquisition creates or strengthens a dominating position of the purchaser.

The proposed legislation is expected to reduce the number of notifications considerably.

Lars Fredborg

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