Disclosure requirements for companies operating in the electric car charging market

The Norwegian Competition Authority introduces disclosure requirements for the five largest operators in the market for rapid and ultra-rapid charging of electric cars. This means that the companies Mer, Recharge, Tesla, Eviny and Circle K now must inform the Authority about all acquisitions and mergers they are involved in. 

Electric cars account for an ever-increasing share of new car sales in Norway, and the market for rapid and ultra-rapid charging of electric cars is growing.

-We see that in several places in Norway there is a limited number of companies that offer rapid and ultra-rapid charging services, which means that consumers have few suppliers to choose from, says Director Hanne Dahl Amundsen.  

The disclosure requirements cover both mergers and acquisitions as well as transactions whereby companies acquire non-controlling minority shareholdings in other companies. 

Other stakeholders, like the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association and NAF, have pointed out that it can be demanding for drivers of electric cars to assess alternative offers in the market. Among other things, it has been pointed out that it can be difficult to compare prices from different providers, and that the limited extent to which bank cards are accepted makes charging more complicated

The Authority will now study the market for rapid and ultra-rapid charging. This will include an assessment of whether competition in this market is well-functioning. Effective competition is important to ensure that consumers are offered high quality services at the lowest possible prices. The Authority will also look into what barriers to entry that exist in this market. 

The Authority needs to gather further information from the market participants and has – in addition to imposing disclosure requirements for merger transactions and minority acquisitions – sent requests for information to the five largest market players: Mer, Recharge, Tesla, Eviny and Circle K.

-One prerequisite for well-functioning competition in the market for rapid and ultra-rapid charging is that drivers of electric cars can obtain information about prices and other conditions available in the market and easily switch to a different market operator if they so wish. If this is not possible, operators will not benefit from offering the best prices and other conditions, and will, as a consequence, end up competing less hard, says Senior Advisor Ingvild Nordtveit. 

Facts 

Concentrations: Mergers and acquisitions, and other agreements leading to a change in control of a company. All concentrations above specified turnover thresholds must be notified to the Authority.

Notification of concentrations is mandatory if the combined turnover in Norway of the involved companies exceeds 1 billion NOK and at least two of the involved companies have an annual turnover in Norway exceeding NOK 100 million.

Disclosure requirements:  The Competition Authority can require that specific companies inform the Authority about mergers and acquisitions they are involved in, including acquisitions of minority shareholdings.

Disclosure requirements ensure that the Authority will be informed about mergers and acquisitions these companies are involved in when the regular notification thresholds are not met. Thereby, the Authority will be able to consider whether to request notification of these transactions.

 

Currently, the following companies are required to inform the Authority about mergers and acquisitions:

  • Motor fuel retailing: Uno-X Energi AS, St1 Norge AS, Certas Energy Norway AS and Circle K Norge AS
  • Electricity generation: Statkraft AS, BKK AS, Skagerak Energi AS and Agder Energi AS
  • Waste management and recycling: Norsk Gjenvinning Norge AS
  • Grocery sector: Norgesgruppen ASA, Coop Norge SA, Rema 1000 and Bunnpris IK Lykke AS
  • Locksmith services: AssaAbloy Norge AS
  • Newspapers: Amedia AS, Polaris ASA and Schibsted ASA
  • Broadband services: Telenor ASA
  • Laundry services: Nor Tekstil AS
  • Garden centres: Plantasjen Norge ASA
  • Home security services: Verisure AS and Sector Alarm Group AS
  • Suppliers of concrete: Nordic Concrete Group AS, Heidelberg Cement Norway AS and Unicon AS
  • Accounting systems: Visma AS
Hanne Dahl Amundsen, avdelingsdirektør i Konkurransetilsynet.
Ingvild Nordtveit