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State Aid

State aid: Sale of land by municipality of Asker not in line with EEA Agreement



he EFTA Surveillance Authority has today concluded a formal investigation procedure regarding the sale of a plot of land by the municipality of Asker to Asker Brygge. The property was sold in 2007 for a sum of NOK 8.7 million without an open bidding procedure or an independent expert evaluation prior to the sales negotiations.  

As established by a subsequent, independent value assessment carried out by the municipality, the property was sold for a price below its market value. Moreover, the sales agreement allowed for the deferred payment of 70% of the sales prices without requiring any interest. These conditions would not have been acceptable for a private investor.

A sale of land below market value, is regarded as state aid, which in principle is incompatible with the EEA Agreement.

Consequently,  in its decision today  the Authority requires Asker Brygge AS to re-pay the incompatible state aid received.

Municipalities are adviced to follow the procedures described in the Authority's guidelines regarding public authorities sale of land and buildings. A sale following a sufficiently well-publisized, open and unconditional bidding procedure or a sale at market value as established by one or more independent value assessors prior to the sales negotiations will normally exclude the presence of state aid.

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:


Per Andreas Bjørgan,
Competition and State Aid Directorate
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 36


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