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Internal Market

Internal Market: Norway must comply with the judgment of the EFTA Court in the Stock Exchange Case

26.6.2013

PR(13)56

Norway has failed to comply with the judgment of the EFTA Court in the case concerning ownership restrictions in financial services infrastructure institutions[1]. This is the conclusion of a reasoned opinion delivered by the EFTA Surveillance Authority today.

Norwegian law provides for a general ban on ownership above 20% of the shares in stock exchanges and securities depositories. Furthermore, voting rights are restricted to 20% of the total votes, or 30% of the votes represented at a shareholders' meeting.

In the judgment, the EFTA Court concluded that such restrictions are a breach of the freedom of establishment and the free movement of capital under the EEA Agreement. This is because the Norwegian rules restrict the possibility to invest in the relevant undertakings and to participate effectively in their management.

Eleven months after the EFTA Court judgment, Norway has still not complied with the judgment. There is no specific period within which the EFTA States are required to take the measures necessary to comply with the judgments of the EFTA Court. However, states should take action immediately and have correctrive measures in place as soon as possible.

The purpose of the Authority's reasoned opinion is to give the State in question a last chance to take corrective measures before the Authority decides whether to bring the matter before the EFTA Court.

For further information, please contact: 

Mr. Ólafur Einarsson
Director, Department of Internal Market Affairs
Tel: +32 (0)2 286 18 73



[1] Case E-9/11 EFTA Surveillance Authority v The Kingdom of Norway




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