Private Enforcement of Competition Law under Revision in Finland – Working Group Published Report Proposing New Legislation

A working group appointed by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy has published a report on 16 June 2015 proposing amendments to the provisions governing actions for damages under competition law in Finland (report available only in Finnish). The report was drafted into the form of a government proposal. The report proposes an entirely new act on actions for damages on the basis of an infringement of competition law. The proposal is based on the EU directive on antitrust damages actions, which must be implemented nationally no later than on 27 December 2016. 

The aim of the Directive and the subsequent national law is, among other things, to ease the raising of claims for damages and to develop the proceedings in such a way that those suffering from infringements of competition law could be fully compensated for the damage.

The proposed act will make the legislative environment more favourable for the claimants in competition law private enforcement in Finland. It can be expected that with the entry into force of this act, the number of damages actions under competition law will continue to increase.

To a large degree, the new act would contain provisions on minimum requirements under the Directive that are already now implemented in the Finnish national law. However, the Directive requires the enactment of certain provisions that to date are not included in the Finnish law. The report proposes that the following provisions be implemented into the new act on actions for damages on the basis of an infringement of competition law:


The position of an immunity recipient would also be more favourable in comparison to the other parties to an infringement with respect to recourse liability. As a rule, the damages payable should be allocated to those liable in view of the level of guilt of the party concerned. The amount of damages payable by the party that has been granted immunity from fines under a leniency programme may not, however, exceed the amount of the damage it caused to its own direct or indirect purchasers or providers.


The report proposes economic succession for damage liability, although this issue is not required or even discussed in the Directive. In the report, economic succession refers to a situation, such as a transfer of business, in which the purchaser is also obligated to pay any damage caused by the target of the acquisition in the period preceding the transaction, if the purchaser was aware or should have been aware about the infringement. At least to date, corresponding legislation or case law is non-existent in other EU Member States.

On the other hand, the report does not propose that certain issues allowed under the Directive should be implemented into national law. For example, the reduction of fines due to a settlement is not proposed to be implemented into Finnish law, although this would be possible under the Directive.

It is still possible to influence the contents of the new provisions before the matter is referred to the Finnish Parliament. Comments may be submitted to the Ministry of Employment and the Economy by 11 September 2015. We are pleased to discuss the practical implications of the proposal for your company.


For further information, please contact:
Sari Hiltunen
Mikko Huimala
Salla Mäntykangas-Saarinen