On surprise inspection at SAS Braathens
The Norwegian Competition Authority has today June 22, 2004, carried out an unnanounced inspection (dawn raid) at the premises of the Norwegian airline carrier SAS Braathens. The purpose of the inspection is to collect further information, and thus facilitate the Authority’s handling of the ongoing case regarding the pricing policy of SAS Braathens.
It is the responsibility of the Competition Authority to monitor compliance with the Norwegian Competition Act. The new Competition Act, which entered into force on May 1, 2004, contains a provision prohibiting undertakings from abusing a dominant position they may hold in a market. The new act provides the Competition Authority with the power to carry out unnanounced inspections in cases regarding abuse of dominance.
SAS Braathens is a dominant operator in the market for domestic passenger flights within Norway. The Competition Authority is currently considering whether the company is infringing the prohibition on abuse of dominance by applying prices below costs in order to eliminate competition.
During an unnanounced inspection, the Competition Authority searches and seizes information at the company’s premises. The inspection is carried out with approval by the Oslo City Court. In consideration of the handling of the case, the Competition Authority will be reluctant to give further information in the case matter.
Photo © Erik Frikke
Photo © Jay Selman