Metro case against Bonnier thrown out

Swedish free newspaper Metro has been defeated in a court case by Bonnier, the publisher of Swedish dailies Stockholm City, Dagens Nyheter and Expressen.

The case revolved around Bonnier’s advertising prices. Metro had argued that the papers were abusing their market dominance by setting artificially low advertising prices.

Witnesses for Metro argued in the Market Court that its own business was comparable with that of the Bonnier papers, while Bonnier argued that the two groups were in different sectors.

The court ruled that insufficient evidence had been presented over how advertisers choose where to place their custom. Metro had also failed to prove the importance of price. It was not possible, the court argued, to judge whether Bonnier had a dominant position and it could therefore not rule on whether there had been an abuse.

Metro was ordered to pay Bonnier’s costs of around 1.7 million kronor ($245,000).

Metro International, owned by Sweden’s Kinnevik investment company, publishes 70 free newspapers around the world. The Stockholm edition was the first to be launched by the company.