The Price Policy Act

Act No. 66 of 11 June 1993 relating to Price Policy (the Price Policy Act).

Section 1
Authorization of price regulation

When it is necessary in order to promote socially justifiable price developments, the King may make:

1) decisions on maximum prices, minimum prices, price freezes, price calculations, discounts, maximum markups, delivery and payment terms and other provisions on prices, profit margins and terms of business, or

2) decisions on the obligation to notify changes in the quantities in item 1.

The King shall submit reports to the Storting concerning particularly important regulations made in accordance with the first paragraph.

Section 2
Unreasonable prices and terms of business
It is prohibited to take, demand or agree on prices that are unreasonable. Nor shall terms of business that have an unreasonable effect on the other party, or that obviously conflict with the general interest, be demanded, agreed on or maintained.

By "price" in this Act is meant any kind of payment, regardless of whether other terms such as remuneration, fee, emolument, freightage, rate, rent or the like are used.

Section 3
Supervisory authorities and the duty to provide information
The Norwegian Competition Authority or whoever the King decides shall check that Section 2 and decisions pursuant to Section 1 are adhered to. The King may issue specific provisions concerning how the supervision shall be carried out.

All are required to give the supervisory authorities the information and hand over the documents for investigation demanded by these authorities in order to perform their tasks in accordance with the Act, including the investigation of any possible infringement of this Act or decisions pursuant to this Act, or the investigation of other price conditions etc. It may be required that such information be given in written or oral form within a specified time limit
both by individuals, undertakings and by groups of undertakings. If necessary the police may be required to assist in ensuring submission of the material that the supervisory authorities have need of.

The person under supervision is obliged to allow the supervisory authorities to inspect enterprises, other real properties and movables.

The supervisory authorities shall be given access to computers or other technical aids in order to gain access to information that is available through the use of such aids.

Information required in accordance with the second paragraph may be given irrespective of the duty of secrecy which otherwise is imposed on the tax assessment authorities, other tax authorities and authorities which have a duty to supervise public regulation of commercial activity. Nor shall such a duty of secrecy prevent documents in the possession of such authorities from being handed over for investigation.

Section 4
Penal provisions

Any person shall be liable to fines or to imprisonment for up to three years who intentionally or negligently:

a) infringes Section 2 of this Act or decisions pursuant to Section 1 of this Act,

b) fails to comply with orders to provide information and/or to collaborate in investigation pursuant to Section 3,

c) gives incorrect or incomplete information to the supervisory authorities, or

d) contributes to infringement as stated in litrae a to c.

A person who has purchased an object or right or received a service on illegal terms may only be punished for complicity if he or she has incited or misled someone to commit the infringement.

Under aggravating circumstances imprisonment for up to six years may be imposed. When deciding whether aggravating circumstances exist, emphasis shall be placed among other things on the danger of substantial damage or inconvenience, the gain expected from the infringement, the extent and duration of the infringement, the degree of guilt demonstrated, whether an attempt was made to conceal the infringement by using falsified accounts or similar documents, and whether the offender has previously been convicted of any infringement of legislation concerning economic regulation.

In a provision issued pursuant to Section 1 it may be prescribed an infringement of the provision shall not be punishable.

Section 5
Confiscation

Where someone has taken a higher price than is legally permissible under the provisions made in, or pursuant to, this Act, an amount may be confiscated which is assumed to correspond to the additional price obtained. This applies regardless of whether the situation may involve criminal liability.

Confiscation of the additional price shall be effected either from the person who has taken the illegal price, or from the party he or she has acted on behalf of or to the advantage of, or from both.

Deduction shall be made for the amount that the person liable has paid back to the injured party, or that the person liable is obliged by the judgement or the writ giving an option of confiscation to pay back.

Where a public tax has been paid on the amount confiscated, a deduction shall be made corresponding to the tax paid.

Where the person liable is a company that is part of a group of companies, the company's parent company and the parent company of the group of companies to which the company belongs shall bear a secondary liability for the amount confiscated. By "group of companies" here is meant enterprises that are a part of an ownership structure as stated in Section 1-2 of the Companies Act and Section 1-2 first paragraph litra h; cf. the second paragraph, of the Act relating to General Partnerships, etc.

The right to bring an action claiming confiscation under this Section shall lapse when ten years have expired since the additional price was obtained.

Section 6
Repayment of illegal additional price

A person who has paid a higher price than is lawful may demand that the excess price be repaid if he or she cannot under the circumstances be said to have a significant degree of co-liability for the infringement.

Any demand that the agreed price shall be reduced to a lawful price, or any demand for repayment of the excess price, shall not give the second party the right to annul the agreement where:

1) it is a matter of commercial sales of objects or services to consumers, or

2) annulment would seem unreasonable taking into account the degree of guilt demonstrated by both parties and circumstances in general.

Section 7
Entry into force, etc.

The Act shall enter into force from the date decided by the King.

The King shall decide whether and to what extent provisions issued in, or pursuant to, this Act shall apply to Svalbard.

Section 8
Amendment of other Acts

When this Act enters into force, the following amendments shall be made to other Acts:
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Last changed: 18/11/2008

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