In a decision issued on 29 December 2016, the Supreme Administrative Court of Finland upheld the EUR 70 million fine imposed on Valio. The court held that Valio had abused its dominant market position by engaging in predatory pricing on the milk market.
The Supreme Administrative Court, as the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) and the Administrative Court had earlier, held that Valio had decreased the prices of its milk products substantially, starting 1 March 2010. The prices were below the average variable costs, which, in principal, is considered a sign of abuse of dominant market position. It could be deduced from the evidence that Valio’s intention was to raise its prices later.
The Supreme Administrative Court held that Valio’s abuse of dominant market position lasted almost three years. Valio had only ended the abuse after being ordered to by the Competition and Consumer Authority.
The investigation began in the Competition and Consumer Authority after competitors had submitted requests for action. The Market Court issued its decision in 2014.
The Merilampi Competition team represented five local dairies in the case: Ilmajoen Osuusmeijeri, Juustoportti ILO, Osuuskunta Maitokolmio, Osuuskunta Maitomaa and Osuuskunta Satamaito.