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Norwegian Competition Regulator Revamps Fines for Grocery Giants

 |  April 14, 2024

Norwegian retailers Norgesgruppen, Rema 1000, and Coop Norge are facing revised fines totaling a preliminary Nkr4.9 billion ($450.6 million) in a long-standing legal battle dating back to 2020.

The Competition Authority, Konkurransetilsynet, initially slapped the trio with combined fines of Nkr21 billion in 2020, alleging collusion to fix prices after an investigation launched in 2018. The regulator claimed that the retailers facilitated each other’s “price hunters” to gather pricing data, resulting in restricted competition and higher prices.

Konkurransetilsynet’s Director General, Tina Søreide, stated that the preliminary fines have been reduced, but emphasized that the assessment of competition restriction persists.

The revised fines, subject to objections, are Nkr2.3 billion for Norgesgruppen, Nkr1.3 billion for Rema, and another Nkr1.3 billion for Coop, marking a significant reduction from the original fines.

Read more: Norwegian Retailers’ Antitrust Fines Slashed

Ingvill Størksen, Coop’s Director of Policy and Government Relations, expressed disbelief over the regulator’s claims, defending the use of price hunters as fostering competition and benefiting consumers with lower prices and a wider selection.

As the May 2nd deadline for objections approaches, the retailers are preparing to challenge the regulator’s assertions, setting the stage for a protracted legal battle, highlighting an ongoing scrutiny of business practices in Norway’s grocery market.

Source: Global Data