Norska mjólkursamsalan sektuð vegna misnotkunar á markaðsráðandi stöðu

The Norwegian Competition Authority has imposed a fine of NOK 45 million (approx. € 5,6 million) on the dairy producer TINE for infringement of the Norwegian Competition Act.

The decision is in accordance with the statement of objection that was issued on September 19th, 2005.

TINE has violated the Norwegian Competition Act through its behavior during the annual negotiations with the grocery chain REMA 1000 in 2004. The negotiations ended with TINE becoming the sole supplier of certain types of cheese to REMA 1000. TINE also made an attempt to reach a similar agreement with ICA, regarding the grocery chain Rimi.

The Norwegian Competition Authority finds that TINE's behavior regarding REMA also violates the prohibition against agreements that restrict competition.

It is the opinion of the Norwegian Competition Authority that there was a great risk of TINE's sole competitor, Synnøve Finden, being forced off the market because of TINE's excluding behavior. This would result in reduced competition, leading to higher prices, fewer options for consumers and lack of innovation.

Abuse of dominance and agreements that restrict competition has been illegal in Norway since 1 May 2004, when the present Competition Act entered into force. In section 10 and 11, the Act contains prohibitions corresponding to those laid down in articles 81 and 82 of the EC Treaty.