Huhtamäki Brothers had the honour to successfully assist and advise the Finnish Ice Hockey Players’ Association in a complaint to the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (the FCCA) concerning the Finnish professional ice hockey league’s i.e. Jääkiekon SM-Liiga Oy’s (the Elite League) and its fifteen shareholders’ (the teams) agreement not to employ players who had a contract with the Kontinental Hockey League’s only Finnish team Jokerit during the playing season, and to not play practice games with Jokerit. This agreement was in force for several years.
In its decision on 31 October 2019, the FCCA declared such agreement to be in violation of competition law and ordered the Elite League and the teams to terminate the unlawful agreement immediately. The FCCA deemed the agreement to be a so-called “by object” infringement i.e. a hard core cartel and a severe restriction of competition. To enforce its decision, the FCCA imposed notice of a conditional fine of EUR 75,000 on each of the violating parties (the Elite League and the teams) for any breach of the termination order.