Grocery trade competition under investigation in Finland

Finnish Competition Authority investigates the role of the S-Group and K-Group which control 80% of the daily consumer goods market.

The Finnish Competition Authority (FCA) is investigating the high concentration of the grocery trade in the hands of the K-Group and S-Group, the dominant players in the Finnish retail market. According to the Federation of Finnish Commerce, the investigation will examine the structure of the grocery trade, how it operates and the effects of the concentration on prices.

FCA will publish a report on the issue before the end of this year. The report will get views from industry and the retail trade, for example on how products are accepted in the selections of the grocery stores.

There has been a great deal of debate in Finland about the dominant role of the S-Group and K-Group in the retail sector, which have a market share of about 80% in the sales of daily consumer goods. According to data published by market research company Nielsen, S-Group had a market share of 44.1% and K-Group 35% in 2010. The total sales of daily consumer goods in Finland were EUR 14.5 billion in 2010.

The market share of other companies in the sector has been falling. In 2010 Suomen Lähikauppa Oy had market share of 9% and Lidl 4.8%. Other companies had 7.1% of the market. Based on its report, FCA can make recommendations to increase competition in the sector.

Sources: Taloussanomat, Nielsen