Icelandic DIY chains in competition law probe

Both of Iceland’s biggest D.I.Y chains, Byko and Husasmidjan, have had their head offices searched and bosses arrested this week.

The arrests will have no effect on the two managing directors’ jobs though, both companies say — at least not at this stage. Coincidentally there was a scheduled Husasmidjan board meeting on Tuesday where the matter was discussed.

Elin Thordardottir, the chair of the board, told RUV that Sigurdur Arnar Sigurdsson is still the company’s director and that his arrest on Tuesday, as part of an investigation into alleged illegal co-operation between the two ‘rival’ companies, has not affected that.

The same answer came from Byko, which held a staff meeting on the day to discuss the raid. The company declared that allegations of co-operation or the deliberate destruction of sensitive evidence are completely untrue.

Competition authorities have investigated Husasmidjan and Byko for alleged co-operation before — which is one of the reasons the arrival of the German Bauhaus chain to Iceland has been enthusiastically anticipated by many.

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