Antitrust Fine For Norway's Food Retailers Cut To €420m

By Reuters
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Antitrust Fine For Norway's Food Retailers Cut To €420m

Norway's top three food retailers face a combined NOK 4.9 billion (€420 million) in fines for breaching antitrust regulations, less than a quarter of the originally proposed penalty, the country's competition authority said.

In 2020, the Norwegian Competition Authority said the three firms faced fines totalling a record NOK 21 billion (€1.8 billion), accusing them of cooperating in ways that may have inflated prices.

The fines have been reduced as the case was no longer considered an intentional breach of the competition act, among other things, the authority said in a statement on Wednesday (10 April).

The case centred on how NorgesGruppen, REMA 1000 and Coop Norway used so-called price hunters to survey rivals' stores and allowed those surveyors access to their own outlets.

While the companies said the practice boosted competition, the regulator said it instead probably stifled competition.


The authority was still assessing the 'anti-competitive effects' of the cooperation, it said.

Top retailer NorgesGruppen now faces a fine of NOK 2.3 billion (€200 million), down from €8.8 billion (€760 million) previously. REMA 1000 and Coop Norway could both be fined NOK 1.3 billion (€110 million), after earlier facing penalties of NOK 7.4 billion (€640 million) and NOK 4.8 billion (€410 million) respectively.

Retailers' Response

'We continue to completely disagree with the Competition Authority's allegations of competition rule violations,' Coop said in a statement.

NorgesGruppen also rejected claims of wrongdoing, and said it was surprised the case had not been dropped altogether.


REMA 1000 did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It has previously denied any wrongdoing.

The decision to fine the three groups is preliminary, in accordance with the watchdog's practice, allowing each company to respond to the changes by 2 May.

The retailers can also appeal against any fines in court.

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