Competition Tribunal upholds decision to block Schibsted’s acquisition of Nettbil

The Competition Tribunal agrees with the Norwegian Competition Authority that Schibsted’s acquisition of Nettbil should be prohibited.

Schibsted ASA and Nettbil AS operate competing digital marketplaces for private persons who wish to sell their used cars. Schibsted is the owner of the marketplace Finn and a provider of online classified advertising services. Nettbil operates an online auction platform for used cars sold by private persons to car dealers. The Competition Tribunal upholds the Competition Authority’s decision ordering Schibsted to sell Nettbil.

– We are pleased with the decision of the Competition Tribunal. Online marketplaces and other digital platforms have become increasingly important for Norwegian consumers. Healthy competition between companies are important, among other things, to ensure that new services are developed and that prices are kept as low as possible for consumers. The Tribunal’s decision confirms the Authority’s finding that the acquisition removes an increasing competitive pressure that Nettbil exerts on Finn, says the Director General Lars Sørgard.

There are few players in the Norwegian market for online sales of used cars, with Finn as the market leader. Nettbil, a newcomer in this market, has experienced strong growth in recent years. With Schibsted’s acquisition of Nettbil, the market for online sales of used cars would have become more concentrated.

– Reduced competition may result in poorer outcomes for consumers, in terms of higher prices, reduced quality or less innovation, says Sørgard.

The Competition Tribunal’s decision means that Schibsted must sell its shares in Nettbil to an independent and suitable buyer, which must be approved by the Authority.

This is the case:

  • Notification of Schibsted’s acquisition of Nettbil
    • Received by the Authority on 3 June 2020
  • The Competition Authority opened an in-depth investigation into the notified transaction
    • Communicated to the parties on 8 July 2020
  • The Competition Authority issued a statement of objections against the acquisition
    • Sent to the parties on 30 September 2020
  • The parties replied to the Authority’s objections
    • Received by the Authority on 21 October 2020
  • The Competition Authority’s decision
    • Adopted on 11 November 2020
  • The parties appealed the Authority’s decision
    • Lodged on 21 December 2020
  • The Competition Tribunal’s decision adopted on 27 May 2021
Director general Lars Sørgard.

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