Swedish Match comments on Competition Authority lawsuit
As previously communicated the Swedish Competition Authority has been conducting an investigation regarding a uniform labelling system for snus coolers owned by Swedish Match and placed in retail outlets. On December 9, 2014 the Competition Authority submitted a lawsuit to the Stockholm district court. In its submission, the Competition Authority alleges that Swedish Match, when implementing the labelling system, has abused a dominant position on the Swedish snus market in breach of the competition legislation. Swedish Match does not agree with this allegation and will defend the case vigorously.
Standardized labels are widely used for different consumer goods categories on the Swedish market in order to create an orderly and transparent category presentation. Swedish Match implemented its labelling system for the same purpose. The labelling system applied uniformly to Swedish Match’s own products and to products of other manufacturers. The implementation of the labelling system started at the end of 2012, but it was shortly thereafter withdrawn.
Swedish Match is of the opinion that the labelling system did not impact sales of other manufacturers, complies with market standards and that the Swedish Competition Authority has based its opinion on false assumptions about the purpose of the labelling system. The Competition Authority is seeking 38 MSEK in penalties. Swedish Match will defend the case vigorously.
For further information, please contact:
Marie-Louise Heiman, Vice President Legal Affairs
Office +46 8 658 0179
Emmett Harrison, Senior Vice President Investor Relations and Corporate Sustainability
Office +46 8 658 0173
The character of this information is such that it shall be disclosed by Swedish Match AB (publ) in accordance with the Swedish Securities Markets Act. The information was disclosed to the media on 10 December, 2014 at 08.30 a.m. (CET).