Earlier today Eimskip received second statement of objections from the Icelandic Competition Authority which is a part of the procedure in the investigation that has been ongoing for nearly a decade. The Company is now first presented with exhaustive accusations in the investigation. The statement contains the preliminary assessment of the Icelandic Competition Authority, but is neither an administrative act nor a binding decision. The purpose of the statement is to ensure that the case will be fully investigated before a final decision is made and to enable the Company to use its right to put forward its arguments and objections according to the administrative procedure act.
No information is available on potential fines, or if they will materialize.
The statement of objections II concerns what appears to be accusations of materially the same nature as described in the former statement of objections, apart from the duration of the alleged infringements being until 2013, although the preliminary view of the Icelandic Competition Autority is that the alleged infringements were significantly reduced in 2013.
In statement of objections II the preliminary assessment is that Eimskip and Samskip committed an illegal collusion which infringed article 10 of the Icelandic competition act and article 53 of the EEA agreement during the investigated period from 2008 until 2013. Further that the information submitted by the Company during the investigation was incomplete and not in accordance with article 19 of the Icelandic Competition Act.
Enclosed to this press release is an overview from the Icelandic Competition Authority, copied from the statement of objections II. Personal data has been removed in accordance with law on data protection and the processing of personal data. It should be noted that the summary contains the preliminary assessment of the Icelandic Competition Authority that can change when the Company submits its documents and objections.
It is the preliminary assessment of the Icelandic Competition Authority that the alleged infringements are severe and it is stated that significant sanctions may be imposed unless the Company’s objections will change the preliminary assessment. It is further stated that individuals may be charged for allegedly submitting incorrect information.
Eimskip rejects the preliminary assessment and has significant objections to the investigation which it considers to have infringed its constitutional rights. The Company will submit detailed documentation and objections which will demonstrate that the preliminary assessment accusations are unfounded. To that effect the Company refers to the cases currently pending be for the District Court of Reykjavik, filed by the Company and its former CEO, claiming that the investigation is illegal and should be ceased.
Eimskip informed in a press release last 29 March that the Company would not submit objections to statement of objections I until the statement of objections II had been delivered. The Icelandic Competition Authority has granted the Company a continuance until 1 February 2020 to submit its objections to statement of objections I. Eimskip did not receive the supporting documents of statement of objections II, but a continuance to submit objections to statement of objections II was granted until 1 April 2020. The Company will request access to the supporting documentation and subsequently submit its objections.