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Finland / Supreme Administrative Court / 29.10.2013/3403 KHO 2013:170

Arla Ingman Oy Ab v Market Court

Policy area:
Competition
Deciding Body type:
National Court/Tribunal
Deciding Body:
Supreme Administrative Court
Type:
Decision
Decision date:
29/10/2013

Key facts of the case:

In an interim decision, the Market Court had rejected Arla Ingman Oy Ab’s request to be granted a party or intervener status in a pending case before the Market Court concerning an appeal made by Arla Ingman’s competitor, Valio Oy, against the decision of the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority. According to the Market Court, the interim decision could not be appealed. Nevertheless, Arla Ingman appealed to the Supreme Administrative Court which dismissed the appeal. The court noted that an interim decision of the Market Court is not a decision resolving or dismissing a case but a procedural order which cannot be separately appealed under the Administrative Judicial Procedure Act. The Supreme Administrative Court then assessed whether Arla Ingman should nonetheless be granted the right to have the legality of the Market Court’s procedural order reviewed separately by the Supreme Administrative Court, in order to protect the company’s rights under EU law or other laws or to guarantee the company’s legal safeguards. The court concluded in the negative. The decision of the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority was addressed to Valio Oy and only had an indirect influence on Arla Ingman’s rights, obligations or interests. Also, the Market Court had provided Arla Ingman with the right to be heard in relation to Valio Oy’s appeal and the company had thus the possibility to present its views before the Market Court in order to protect its interests.