Until October 1, 2000, competition law in Denmark was based on the
Competition Act of 1997, which entered into force on January 1, 1998. At the
time that it was enacted, the Act represented a significant change in Danish
competition law because it brought the national law into conformity with the
competition law of the European Commission through the introduction of the
principle of prohibition, which replaced the principle of control that had prevailed
in Denmark for more than sixty years. Most of the countries in Western Europe
already had competition rules based on prohibition, and the Danish government
wished to reconcile national competition law with the competition law of the
European Union ("EU"). Moreover, the Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development ("OECD"), in its 1992-1993 analysis of
Denmark, had pointed out that the lack of competition in Denmark (along with
the country's relatively high prices) was due to the fact that the preventive
effect of the principle of control was simply too weak.
Consequently, on May 26, 2000, the Danish Parliament adopted several
amendments to the Competition Act of 1997 (collectively and as subsequently
amended, the "Competition Act").n4 The two most significant changes
to the existing competition rules were:
(1) The introduction of mandatory merger control rules-the requirement
that transactions satisfying certain thresholds be reported to the Danish
competition authorities and approved before the transactions can be completed; and
(2) The provision of a legal basis for the Danish competition
authorities to enforce Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty Establishing the
European Union ("EC Treaty," now Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union ("TFEU")).
The majority of the amendments, including the rules on mandatory merger
control, entered into force on October 1, 2000....
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