Browse by year:


State Aid

State aid: Investigation of IT services provided through Norwegian online travel guide

16.7.2014

PR(14)51

An in-depth investigation was initiated today by the EFTA Surveillance Authority to assess whether Innovation Norway respects the state aid rules when providing web infrastructure and related services through its online travel guide visitnorway.com.

The case originated in a complaint from a provider of such services.

Innovation Norway is a public entity entrusted by Norwegian authorities with the task of promoting Norway as a tourist destination. An important tool in this regard is the website visitnorway.com, designated to become a main actor in the national tourism sector.

Innovation Norway recently entered into the web infrastructure and related services market, offering these services to regional tourist boards and destination management organisations which have disconnected their own websites and joined the visitnorway.com platform. These are companies – with public and private shareholders – in charge of the tourist promotion within a regional or local area.

The services offered by Innovation Norway are already provided by private operators, such as the complainant, and the Authority has doubts as to whether Innovation Norway's entrance in this new market is in line with EEA law.

During its investigation, the Authority will particularly look into three possible state aid measures:

  • the alleged cross-subsidisation of Innovation Norway's web infrastructure and related services with funds meant for non-commercial activities;
  • the alleged profits foregone through the non-profit orientation of Innovation Norway's activities, including the web infrastructure and related services;
  • the alleged aid granted through Innovation Norway to the regional tourist boards and the destination management organisations in form of prices below costs for web infrastructure and related services.

Norwegian authorities, as well as third parties with an interest in the case, are now invited to provide their comments on the Authority's opening decision. A non-confidential version of the decision will shortly be published on the Authority's website and in the Official Journal of the European Union.

 

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Andreas Kjeldsberg Pihl
Press & Information Officer
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 66
mob. (+32)(0)492 900 187

 




Other EEA Institutions


imgbanner2
This website is built with Eplica CMS