The charge against Arla in Denmark
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- 10 February 2006
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In the case, which dates back two years, Arla is accused of contravening the Danish Competition Act’s paragraph 11, by abusing its dominating position in the Danish market to the detriment of a competitor.
Arla stands accused of paying the wholesaler, Metro, to remove products from Hirtshals co-operative dairy from the chain’s stores in Denmark.
The charge against Arla has been preferred by the Prosecutor for Special Economic Crimes (SØK).
A key point in the case is whether Arla at a meeting with Metro on October 2, 2003, made a marketing subsidy of DKK 200,000 conditional upon Metro removing products from Hirtshals co-operative dairy from the chain’s shelves in favour of Arla’s products.
Arla had agreed to provide a marketing subsidy in connection with Metro’s 40th anniversary, but says Arla, this was not linked to Metro and Hirtshals’ relations. Consequently, the Group denies any wrong-doing.
Prior to the case, the Prosecutor for Special Economic Crimes and the Danish Competition Council had investigated all the aspects of Arla’s trade with Metro: apart from the one meeting, the authorities concluded that Arla had fully complied with current competition regulations.
Arla Foods is an international dairy company owned by 9,700 farmers from Denmark, Sweden, the UK, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Arla Foods is one of the leading players in the international dairy arena with well-known brands like Arla®, Lurpak®, Puck® and Castello®. Arla Foods is focused on providing good dairy nourishment from sustainable farming and operations and is also the world's largest manufacturer of organic dairy products.