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Norwegian competition law 2015 in review

Published 02/10/2016

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2015 saw the Norwegian Competition Authority build on its role as an active and innovative enforcer, handling an impressive number of complex mergers and actively defending its decisions in various appeal proceedings. A full two years have now passed since the coming into force of the amended Competition Act in Norway and both the authority and practitioners seem to be comfortable with the changes it brought about and new proceedings are now familiar.

Notably, in 2015 unproblematic mergers were reviewed and cleared quickly leaving the NCA with more resources to focus on demanding matters, of which there were a few. Five mergers were authorised subject to commitments with the NCA employing sophisticated analytical techniques and collating large volumes of data.

On the antitrust side, the NCA was busy in court defending its decisions in the midst of a wave of competition litigation which will continue in 2016 with, at least, one matter to be heard by the Supreme Court. On the enforcement front, things were a bit slower with no major infringement decisions and only a few decisions being issued related to clear-cut violations, but in a minor scale.

Looking ahead, 2016 will see the establishment of a new Competition Appeal Tribunal that will be the sole venue for first instance review of the NCAs decisions according to a law proposal from the Government to the parliament (the Storting). Other minor changes will further bring the Norwegian competition regime in line with the EU. The standard of intervention under merger control will change from an SLC test to an SIEC test and a settlement procedure for cartel participants resulting in a 10% reduction in their fine will also be introduced. Moreover there is legislation under way that will implement new rules on private enforcement. Finally, on 25 January 2016 Lars Sørgard was appointed as the new Director General of the NCA, replacing Christine B. Meyer who left office last year. Sørgard came from the position as chief economist at the NCA.

For further details, please check out our newsletter: BA-HR Newsletter – Norwegian competition law 2015 in review


This newsletter contains information in summary form and is therefore intended for general guidance only. It is not intended to be a substitute for detailed research or the exercise of professional judgement. BAHR will not accept any responsibility for loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of any material in this newsletter.

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