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Several amendments to the Competition Act

Several amendments to the Competition Act have been adopted.

The amendments include changes to the inspection rights of the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (the “FCCA”). The FCCA now has the right to conduct searches in temporary copies of data made during inspections also in its own premises while previously the inspection had to be completed as a site inspection. In addition, the FCCA now has the express right to inspect data regardless of the medium in which the data is saved.

Time limits for merger control proceedings have been amended as well and are now counted as working days instead of months. The FCCA’s processing time for phase I is 23 working days (instead of one month), and the processing time for phase II is 69 working days (instead of three months).

The amendments also include a change to the competition neutrality provisions. Municipalities, joint municipal authorities, the state or any entities under their control that engage in economic activities in a competitive situation must maintain separate accounts on the activities from 1 January 2020.

Moreover, the amendments enhance the exchange of information between various authorities. Notwithstanding secrecy provisions, the FCCA may deliver information to certain other authorities if the other authorities need the information to fulfil their statutory obligations. The list of authorities, to which the FCCA may deliver information, has been expanded and now includes, inter alia, the Tax Administration and the Financial Intelligence Unit of the National Bureau of Investigation.

The leniency procedure has also been amended, as the scope of the summary applications has been extended. An undertaking may now lodge a summary application not only when it seeks to obtain immunity from fines but also when it seeks a reduction of fines in cartel cases. In addition, a summary application may now be lodged also after the FCCA’s inspection.

For further information, please contact:

Matti Siiteri
Associate

Request for statement regarding proposed changes to procurement laws

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment requests for statements regarding proposed changes to the procurement laws.

The Ministry has prepared a draft Government Bill, dated 14 June 2019, which would amend the procurement laws by introducing the use of electronic procedures in criminal record checks. The purpose of the Bill is to clarify certain rules relating to procurement procedures and rectify certain technical errors currently included in the procurement laws.

The Bill is to enter into force on 1 January 2020. The statements should be delivered to the Ministry at the latest on 6 August 2019.

For further information, please contact:

Matti Siiteri
Associate

Binding targets for zero- and low-emission vehicles in public procurement

The Council of the European Union has recently adopted binding targets for zero- and low-emission vehicles in public procurement. According to the Council, the new rules will, inter alia, stimulate innovation. Zero- and low-emission vehicles will in turn help the EU meet its Paris Agreement commitments.

The new rules are set out in a draft directive amending the Clean Vehicles Directive (2009/33/EC). The scope of the rules is broadened in terms of the procurement practices covered. For example, refuse collection and postal delivery services fall within the scope of the new rules.

The new rules set out minimum procurement targets at national level for clean light-duty vehicles (passenger cars and vans) and heavy-duty vehicles (e.g. trucks). For example, the minimum procurement target in respect of clean light-duty vehicles of the total number of light-duty vehicles covered by the aggregate of all procurement contracts in Finland will be 38,5%.

The definition of a clean light-duty vehicle is based on CO2 emission standards, whereas the definition of a clean heavy-duty vehicle is based on the use of alternative fuels. For example, clean light-duty vehicles within the meaning of the directive are vehicles whose CO2 emissions are at the most 50 g/km by the end of 2025 and 0 g/km after 2025.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications will prepare national legislation implementing the new rules.

For further information, please contact:

Matti Siiteri
Associate

Waselius & Wist advised the winning tenderer Marfina S.L. in the public tender regarding the Vantaa City Bike System

Waselius & Wist advised the winning tenderer Marfina S.L. and its subcontractor CityBike Finland Oy in the public tender, and in the negotiation of the procurement contract, relating to a major procurement by the City of Vantaa of a City Bike System comprising in total 1,000 bikes and 100 city bike stations in the Tikkurila, Aviapolis, Myyrmäki and Martinlaakso areas in Vantaa.

Lawyers involved:

Waselius & Wist successfully represented Ascensia Diabetes Care Finland Oy

Waselius & Wist successfully represented Ascensia Diabetes Care Finland Oy before the Market Court in litigation against the Joint Municipal Authority of the Hospital District of Central Finland regarding a major procurement of blood glucose meters and test strips. The decision of the Market Court represents an important national interpretation of the judgment of the European Court of Justice in case C‑298/15 Borta UAB regarding changes to clauses in the tender specifications.

For more information, please contact

Waselius & Wist successfully represented Maksuturva Group Oy

Waselius & Wist successfully represented Maksuturva Group Oy in Market Court proceedings relating to a major procurement of card payment services and invoice based payment services by Helsinki Regional Transport (”Helsingin Seudun Liikenne”).

Value: Total value of procurement some MEUR 4-5 million

Lawyers involved:

Waselius & Wist successfully represented Ascensia Diabetes Care Finland Oy

Waselius & Wist successfully represented Ascensia Diabetes Care Finland Oy in public procurement litigation before the Market Court relating to a major procurement by the Joint Municipal Authority of the Hospital District of South Ostrobotnia of blood glucose meters and test strips.

Value: More than EUR 2 million

Lawyers involved:

Waselius & Wist successfully represented Bayer Oy

Waselius & Wist successfully represented Bayer Oy in two major public procurement litigation proceedings before the Market Court.

Value: More than EUR 10 million

Lawyers involved:

Acquisition of Solita by Apax

Waselius & Wist represented Apax Partners in the Finnish law aspects of the acquisition of a majority stake in the leading Finnish digital transformation company, Solita, from Vaaka Partners, including the financing arrangements and merger control proceedings relating to the acquisition. The acquisition was carried out by Apax Digital Fund, a growth equity fund advised by global private equity advisory firm Apax Partners. Apax Digital Fund specialises in growth equity and buyout investments in high-growth enterprise software, internet, and technology-enabled services companies worldwide. Solita is a digital transformation company driven by data and human insight. The company provides a range of services, including strategic consulting, service design, artificial intelligence, analytics and managed cloud services to its fast-growing international client roster. Solita employs more than 650 digital specialists across Finland, Sweden and Estonia.

Lawyers involved

Waselius & Wist successfully represented Ascensia Diabetes Care Finland Oy

Waselius & Wist successfully represented Ascensia Diabetes Care Finland Oy in public procurement litigation in the Market Court relating to a major procurement by the City of Espoo of blood glucose meters and test strips.

Lawyers involved:

Tuurna