Browse by year:


Color Line fined EUR 18.8 million for infringing EEA competition rules




Today, the EFTA Surveillance Authority has fined Color Line EUR 18.811 million for an infringement of the competition rules of the EEA Agreement.

Color Line is a Norwegian ferry company which operates routes from Norway to Denmark, Germany and Sweden. With its route between Sandefjord in Norway and Strömstad in Sweden, Color Line remained for many years the only provider of short haul passenger ferry services with tax-free sales between these two countries.

The Authority's case concerns an agreement that was concluded in 1991 with the public harbour of Strömstad in Sweden. Through that agreement Color Line secured long-term exclusive access to harbour facilities in Strömstad harbour.

“Color Line has breached the competition rules in the EEA Agreement. The long-term exclusivity in its agreement prevented free competition on the route between Sandefjord and Strömstad  and harmed consumers,” Mrs Oda Helen Sletnes, President of the EFTA Surveillance Authority, said.

The Authority has concluded today that Color Line's long-term exclusivity in Strömstad harbour in Sweden restricted competition and constituted an abuse of Color Line's dominant market position. An infringement is found from the entry into force of the EEA Agreement in 1994 until December 2005, when a competitor of Color Line was granted access to the harbour.

Following the receipt of a complaint, the Authority opened the case in 2006 and has carried out an extensive market investigation. It presented its preliminary objections to Color Line in 2009 (see PR(09)98) and examined carefully Color Line's reply to those objections before adopting its decision.

For background information, read the Authority's Q&A.

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Trygve Mellvang-Berg,
Press and Information Officer
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 66
Mob. (+32)(0)492 900 187

Other EEA Institutions

This website is built with Eplica CMS