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Competition

PR(06)17: Statement on EFTA Surveillance Authority inspection in Norway

4.4.2006

The EFTA Surveillance Authority confirms that, on 4 April 2006, inspectors from the EFTA Surveillance Authority, assisted by officials from the Norwegian Competition Authority, carried out an unannounced inspection at the premises of Color Line AS, a Norwegian ferry operator.

The purpose of the inspection is to ascertain whether there is evidence of practices contrary to the competition rules of the EEA Agreement on the part of Color Line in relation to its provision of passenger and freight services on ferry routes to and from Norway.

Surprise inspections are a preliminary step in antitrust investigations. The fact that the EFTA Surveillance Authority carries out an inspection does not mean that the company is guilty of anti-competitive behaviour nor does it prejudge the outcome of the investigation itself. The EFTA Surveillance Authority respects the rights of defence, in particular the right of companies to be heard in antitrust proceedings.

There is no strict timetable for concluding antitrust investigations. Their duration depends on a number of factors, amongst others the complexity of each case, the extent to which the companies involved co-operate and the exercise of the rights of defence.

Press and information officer: Mr. Tor Arne Solberg-Johansen,
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 66 or (+32) (0)475 813 759.

4 April 2006




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