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State Aid

PR(10)16: Investigation opened into the sale of land by the municipality of Våler to Haslemoen AS in Norway


The EFTA Surveillance Authority has today decided to open the formal investigation procedure regarding the sale of buildings at the Inner Camp area at Haslemoen military camp. By a contract dated 22 May 2006, Våler Municipality agreed to sell 29 out of the total 44 buildings in the Inner Camp at the military camp to the company Haslemoen AS for a total amount of 4 million NOK.

The Authority's decision to open the formal investigation procedure follows a preliminary assessment that raises doubts whether Haslemoen AS received state aid through the sales agreement.

If this transaction was carried out in accordance with the market economy investor principle, i.e., if the municipality sold the land at its market value and the conditions of the sale would have been acceptable for a private seller, the transaction would not involve state aid.

If, however, municipalities sell land below the market value, this may be regarded as state aid. State aid is not compatible with the EEA Agreement, subject to various exceptions.

In this case, the Authority has doubts as to whether the sales price for the 29 buildings corresponds to the market price for these buildings. The price should reflect the property value at the time of the agreement.

The Norwegian authorities and third parties will be called on to submit their comments before a final decision is taken.

A non-confidential version of the Decision will be published in the register of state aid decisions on the Authority's website, normally within a month from the date of the Decision.


For further information, please contact:

Maria Segura Catalan
Deputy Director
Competition and State Aid Directorate
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 53


Jonas Pålshammar
Competition and State Aid Directorate
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 34


Brussels, 24 March 2010

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