Stora Enso – Supreme Court Dismissed Metsähallitus’ Application for Leave to Appeal in the Roundwood Case

The Finnish Supreme Court rendered a decision on 29 January 2019 in which it dismissed Metsähallitus’ application for leave to appeal in an antitrust damages trial where Metsähallitus claimed damages from Stora Enso Oyj, UPM-Kymmene Oyj and Metsäliitto Cooperative based on a competition infringement on the Finnish roundwood market.

The Supreme Court’s decision means that the case has been finally resolved. The forestry companies are not obligated to pay Metsähallitus damages due to the competition infringement.

Metsähallitus originally claimed damages amounting to nearly 283 million euros jointly and severally from the forestry companies due to the alleged undercharge paid by the forestry companies for roundwood during 1997–2005. The Helsinki District Court dismissed Metsähallitus’ claim in its judgment of 22 June 2016 and ordered Metsähallitus to compensate the forestry companies’ legal costs in full. Metsähallitus appealed the District Court’s judgement to the Helsinki Court of Appeal, which rendered its judgment on 21 May 2018. The Court of Appeal did not change the District Court’s judgment, dismissed Metsähallitus’ appeal and ordered Metsähallitus to compensate the forestry companies’ legal costs also in the Court of Appeal in full. With the Supreme Court’s decision, the Court of Appeal’s judgement is now final.

The Helsinki District Court dismissed damages claims by a group of Finnish private forest owners and a group of Finnish municipalities against the forestry companies in relation to the same competition restriction in its judgements of 2017. These judgements have gained legal force.

Castrén & Snellman successfully represented Stora Enso in every stage of the trials.  

This is the largest antitrust damages case ever tried in Finland. Read more about the earlier stages of the case.