DNB’s acquisition of Sbanken subject to in-depth review

The Norwegian Competition Authority is considering whether to intervene against DNB’s acquisition of Sbanken. The Authority’s preliminary view is that the transaction may weaken competition in the market for mutual funds. This may lead to higher prices and harm consumers who invest in such funds.

The acquisition was notified to the Authority in the middle of April and the Authority has, among other things, obtained and examined a significant amount of information from both the involved companies and from other players in the market since then.

–  The banking market is a large and important market for Norwegian consumers, and DNB’s acquisition is one of the most significant acquisitions in this market in many years. Based on a preliminary analysis, the Authority has concluded that it is necessary to subject the acquisition to an in-depth review before deciding whether the acquisition can be approved, says Director Gjermund Nese.
The Authority’s task in all cases in which it reviews mergers and acquisitions is to determine whether the transaction will reduce competition in the markets concerned and result in harm to consumers, for example through higher prices and reduced service quality.

– The Authority will now continue its assessment of the acquisition and the impact it may have on competition in the market for mutual funds. If there is reason to fear that, for example, it will become more expensive for Norwegian consumers to invest in mutual funds, we will consider blocking the acquisition, says Nese.

The Authority will now proceed with its in-depth review. The Authority’s deadline is 26 August. By that time, it must either clear the acquisition or send a statement of objections to the parties. If a statement of objections is issued, the parties will have 15 working days to reply to the Authority’s objections. The Authority’s final deadline in this case is 7 October.

 

Bunke med kredittkort
Gjermund Nese, Director at the Norwegian Competition Authority.

Contact information:

Press phone + 47 476 67 777

Gjermund Nese
Director
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