Competition cases

ESA closes Color Line and Sandefjord investigation

 On 20 December 2016, the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) closed an investigation of the ferry company Color Line and the municipality of Sandefjord in Norway. The parties have ended practices alleged to be in breach of EEA competition rules.


Following a complaint, ESA opened formal antitrust proceedings in March 2015. ESA has investigated whether Color Line and the municipality restricted competition and abused a dominant market position through an agreement on access to the port of Sandefjord for the ferry route to Strömstad in Sweden.

Since the antitrust proceedings were opened, another ferry operator, Fjord Line, has been given viable sailing times from Sandefjord inner harbour. Furthermore, and following an open tender arranged by Sandefjord municipality, sailing times from 2020 were allocated on 2 December 2016. As from 2020, Fjord Line will operate four daily departures from Sandefjord inner harbour, while Color Line will operate two.

As the market has been opened for competition, ESA has decided to close the investigation.

Separately, ESA still has one investigation of Color Line pending, based on a recent complaint from a third party. 



-          Press release on the closing of the investigation

-          Press release on proposed commitments

-          Commitments offered by Color Line AS

-          Commitments offered by Sandefjord Municipality

-          Market test notice in the Official Journal: English | German

-          Market test notice in the EEA Supplement: Norwegian | Icelandic

-          Press release on opening of antitrust proceedings

Other EEA Institutions

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