Competition cases

ESA sends a Statement of Objections to Widerøe

On 2 May 2018, the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) adopted a Statement of Objections informing Widerøe's Flyveselskap AS (Widerøe) of its preliminary conclusion that Widerøe may have abused a dominant position in Norway in breach of the EEA competition rules. The Statement of Objections follows an in-depth investigation of how the airline acted in relation to public service obligation (PSO) routes in Norway.

Widerøe

Previously, airlines needed a specific satellite-based approach system to compete in public tender processes to service several Norwegian PSO routes. The system is called SCAT-1 and was installed at many regional airports in Norway for safety reasons. At the airports where this system was installed, PSO aircraft were required to have certain SCAT-1 receivers on board. Widerøe owns all of the available receivers.

ESA's preliminary view is that Widerøe infringed Article 54 of the EEA Agreement by refusing to supply the SCAT-1 receivers to possible competitors. Consequently, Widerøe appears to have been the only airline able to win a number of the PSO tenders.

ESA carried out unannounced inspections at Widerøe's premises in June 2014. A significant amount of data was collected and, in June 2016, ESA opened formal antitrust proceedings to investigate the airline's conduct.

A Statement of Objections does not prejudge the outcome of the proceedings. ESA will take a final decision only after Widerøe has had the opportunity to comment. The airline is invited to comment by 3 July and may also ask to be heard in an oral hearing. If ESA's preliminary conclusions are confirmed, it may impose a fine.

For further information, see the accompanying fact sheet and press release. 




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