New temporary law extends deadlines for merger control

The Norwegian Parliament today adopted a new temporary law introducing exceptions from procedural rules in the Competition Act due to the outbreak of Covid-19. The law shall ensure that the Norwegian competition authorities to the greatest extent possible are able to perform their tasks during the corona crisis.

The law extends some of the deadlines for the review of mergers. The Competition Authority’s deadlines in Section 20 of the Competition Act for informing parties that the Authority may intervene against a notified transaction, for issuing a statement of objections, and for adopting decisions confirming remedies proposed by the parties are extended. The deadlines in Section 20 a of the Competition Act for the handling of appeals before the Competition Tribunal are also extended. These extensions apply both to mergers the Competition Authority is currently examining as well as to future transactions that are notified during the period under which the temporary act is in force.

An exception from the rules on the composition of the Competition Tribunal has also been introduced. If it is necessary in order to carry out the tasks of the Competition Tribunal, and as long as the case in question can be handled in an appropriate manner, the chair of the Tribunal may for certain types of cases decide that decisions shall be adopted by a single member of the Tribunal. This does not apply, however, to cases where administrative fines have been imposed for violations of the prohibition against anticompetitive agreements between undertakings or the prohibition against abuses of a dominant position. This exception does not either apply to appeals against interventions against mergers or minority acquisitions.

The Act enters into force immediately and applies until 31 October 2020.

You can read the Act here >> (In Norwegian)

Norges lover-bok.

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