Denmark's competition authorities have cut back Carlsberg's ability to demand exclusivity agreements in the country. The Danish brewer has welcomed the ruling, saying that the clarity of the situation will help going forward.

The Competition Authority said yesterday (26 October) that the brewer's agreements with bars, restaurants and other sites in Denmark, as well as its tradition of providing free taps for its draft beer "have made it difficult for other producers to come into the market and easier for Carlsberg to hold onto its market share of about 70%."

Carlsberg has subsequently been ordered not to enter into exclusivity agreements that exceed 2% of the total market and, in the pilsner draft segment, no more than 4.5%. The company's customers are now permitted to give only three months' notice of their wish to terminate agreements, as opposed to the three to five year notice required previously. Customers will also be able to purchase the draft beer equipment at a discounted price after a specified period.

In a statement, Jørn Tolstrup Rohde, head of Carlsberg Denmark, said: "There are set strict conditions set for what we may do and what we must do. But now there is a clear framework for Carlsberg's relationships with customers."