Short news report I: Published new guidelines on best practices for competition cases 20 December

The EFTA Surveillance Authority has adopted new guidelines aimed at increasing interaction with parties in proceedings under Articles 53 and 54 of the EEA Agreement and strengthening the mechanisms for safeguarding the procedural rights of parties.

With these new guidelines, procedures will be aligned with those applicable for cases under Articles 101 and 102 under the TFEU.

Short news report II: €78,000 (NOK 700,000) fine to Jotunfell Partners for gun jumping (photo stores)

The Norwegian Competition Authority (NCA) has imposed a fee for early implementation of a concentration. The NCA concluded that Jotunfjell was in breach of the implementation prohibition of the Norwegian Competition Act when they entered into the lease agreements, and took control over equipment and inventory from 18 stores. The seller was the administrator of a bankruptcy estate.

In parallel with Jotunfjell’s requesting an exemption from the standstill obligation, they opened the relevant stores. In the NCA’s view, Jotunfjell consciously chose to implement the transaction without awaiting a formal clearance and exemption decision from NCA. This reinforces the seriousness of the violation, and, accordingly, the fee is set relatively high.

Short news report III: NCA considers to block the TeliaSonera/Tele2 Norge merger (telecom operators)

NCA considers to intervene against TeliaSonera acquisition of Tele2. The acquisition involves a merger of two of the three largest mobile operators in Norway. NCA fear that prices for consumers will be higher and the quality of services lower with this acquisition, given the already highly concentrated market. 

The remedy measure package proposed by TeliaSonera are − in the view of the NCA − not sufficient to rectify the competition problems emerging from the deal.