From Iceland — OECD: Iceland Lacking Production, Competition

OECD: Iceland Lacking Production, Competition

Published September 5, 2015

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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A new report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) contends that the Icelandic market lacks competition and is underproducing.

RÚV points out that Iceland has lower rates of production than every other Nordic country, except for the sectors of fishing and energy production for heavy industry use. Páll Gunnar Pálsson, the chairperson of the Icelandic Competition Authority, agrees with the report, especially where a lack of competition in the marketplace is concerned.

“It is of course quite the main task to increase competition,” he told reporters. “We have been pointing this out for years, especially since the financial collapse [of 2008], that competition is the best tool we have to increase production in the Icelandic market.” He adds that while Iceland’s business laws regarding competition in the marketplace need to be better enforced, new rules are also badly needed.

Many critics over the years have pointed out that the Icelandic market is too small for any “real” competitiveness between companies in the same industry to occur. Nonetheless, there are competition laws in place, and they can make their way to the courts.

Most recently, the Icelandic Competition Authority filed a complaint against eleven high-level employees of shipping companies Eimskip and Samskip for illegal collaboration. About ten years ago, a very high profile case of market collusion between Iceland’s oil companies was brought to light. Despite damning evidence, the oil companies involved denied any wrongdoing.

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