News

Vinge represents Ticnet in noteworthy case with the Swedish Competition Authority

March 14, 2007

Vinge has successfully represented Ticnet AB, Sweden's largest supplier of ticket handling systems, in a noteworthy case with the Swedish Competition Authority. Ticnet AB is part of the Ticketmaster Group, who are world-leaders in ticketing services.

Further to a complaint in February 2005, the Swedish Competition Authority initiated a widespread inquiry as to whether the exclusivity conditions that Ticnet applied in its terms and conditions with events organisers were infringing competition rules.

The Swedish Competition Authority has previously been perceived as having a very restrictive approach to exclusivity clauses applied by companies that are able to dominate the market. The Swedish Competition Authority's decision of 7 March 2007 demonstrates however that it does not have a predetermined attitude. The decisive factor is whether the exclusivity is designed to have any proscription effects.

In this particular case, The Swedish Competition Authority found that there could be financial motives for both organisers and Ticnet to apply exclusivity conditions during a certain period of time. However, the Authority also noted that a large part of the contracts will be exposed to competition in 2007 when the original versions expire. The Authority therefore found as a whole that the exclusivity conditions did not lead to proscription effects that infringe prevailing competition rules.

A press release [in Swedish] published by the Competition Authority is available at www.kkv.se.

Vinge's team included Johan Karlsson (partner) and Kanja Berg (associate).

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