The Authority repeals decision against Norgesgruppen

The Norwegian Competition Authority has decided to repeal its decision to impose a fine of 20 million NOK on Norgesgruppen for an infringement of disclosure requirements related to an acquisition by Norgesgruppen of the company Sædalssvingene 3 Eiendom A/S.

The Authority decided on 29 August 2020 to impose a fine on Norgesgruppen for an infringement of disclosure requirements, as Norgesgruppen’s acquisition of Sædalssvingene 3 Eiendom A/S was not disclosed to the Authority. In its decision, the Authority considered that the acquisition constituted a concentration in the grocery supply chain, and that Norgesgruppen therefore should have disclosed the transaction according to disclosure obligations that applied to it. Norgesgruppen appealed the decision on 22 February 2021.

The Authority’s first assessment was that the acquisition was covered by the disclosure requirements given the factual circumstances of the case. However, following an overall reassessment of the case, the Authority has found that it is reasonable to give more weight to the fact that there might have been a degree of ambiguity in relation to whether the acquisition was actually covered by the wording of the disclosure requirements in question, and whether Norgesgruppen could be held responsible for violating those requirements, says Director General Lars Sørgard.

All grocery chains in Norway are subject to disclosure requirements with regard to mergers and acquisitions in the grocery supply chain. The reason is that also mergers and acquisitions below the notification thresholds may harm competition locally and/or nationally.

In light of this decision and of the particular circumstances in the grocery market, we will now consider more closely whether the disclosure requirements that are applicable to grocery chains need to be amended, says Deputy Magnus Gabrielsen.

Norgesgruppen was informed about the Authority’s

Lars Sørgard, konkurransedirektør.
Director general Lars Sørgard.

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