The Norwegian Competition Authority has intensified controls and is currently investigating several major cases in parallel. Several companies have themselves reported that they may be involved in collusion.
This emerged from the Competition Authority's annual report for 2010.
More securing of evidence
Uncovering illegal price collusion and bid rigging have the highest priority. The Norwegian Competition Authority has worked systematically over several years to strengthen its capability for investigative work and to put the fight against competition crime on the agenda. Results of the initiative are now beginning to emerge.
The Competition Authority's investigation activity increased in 2010 - more than 70 percent of the total resources for handling cases was used to follow up on possible breaches of competition law. In 2010, the authority secured evidence in four cases, at a total of 19 locations - far more than in previous years. In addition, it took a total of 32 formal statements in six different cases.
More blowing the whistle
In 2004, Norway introduced a leniency regulation for cartel participants who notify the Competition Authority about the crime and cooperate with the authority’s investigation. Until 2009, the scheme was used sparingly, but in 2010 the Competition Authority received six applications for leniency. Several of the cases that are currently under active investigation are the result of leniency applications.
Cases in court
2010 was also marked by the courts handling three cases in which the Authority had previously decided to impose fines for breaches of competition law. The cases concerned, respectively, Tine, Norges Turbileierforbund and the two entrepreneurs, Gran og Ekran AS and Grunnarbeid AS. The Competition Authority was upheld in all cases. The decisions have been appealed to higher courts.
Read more in Annual Report 2010 - Norwegian Competition Authority