PaperlinX, its German subsidiary Deutsche Papier Vertriebs file antitrust complaint against Sappi with Germany's competition authority, charging that Sappi breached EU and German law by restricting customers to whom PaperlinX can make indent sales
SCORESBY, Victoria, Australia
December 4, 2013
– PaperlinX Limited (“PaperlinX”) today announced that it has lodged a complaint against paper manufacturer and supplier Sappi Europe SA ("Sappi") with the Bundeskartellamt ("BKA"), the German Federal Cartel Office, in respect of alleged ongoing infringements of European Union ("EU") and German competition law. The complaint was lodged by PaperlinX together with its German subsidiary, Deutsche Papier Vertriebs GmbH.
Sappi has supplied paper products to PaperlinX and its subsidiaries in Germany and in other EU Member States for a number of years under the parties' longstanding commercial relationship.
In summary, the complaint submitted by PaperlinX to the BKA on 3 December 2013 sets out the allegation that Sappi is in breach of Article 101(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and sections 1, 20 (1) and 19 (1) (2) no. 1 of the German Act against Restraints of Competition, on the basis that Sappi restricts the customers to whom PaperlinX is able to make indent sales. Indent sales involve supplies of paper directly from Sappi to PaperlinX's customer's specified place of delivery, but in respect of which PaperlinX bears all commercial risk with its customer.
More specifically, the complaint alleges that:
The complaint also sets out PaperlinX's view that these practices have had, and continue to have, a serious impact on PaperlinX's ability to compete to win new business and to increase its market share, and that these practices are also to the detriment of printers and other customers in the industry.
Since Sappi has been unwilling to engage with PaperlinX to resolve these issues commercially, PaperlinX is now seeking to protect its interests through a formal complaint to the appropriate national competition regulator. PaperlinX is hopeful that the complaint will bring about a positive change in Sappi’s approach to the issue.