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EU/EEA and competition law

The purpose of competition and state aid legislation is to ensure a fair marketplace and efficient use of resources. The EEA-Agreement guarantees free movement of goods, services, persons and capital. EU Directives and Regulations are also implemented in Norwegian law through the EEA-Agreement and has an increasing influence on Norwegian legislation.

Our skilled and experienced lawyers assist Norwegian and international companies in all areas of EU/EEA and competition law. We take particular care to understand our clients’ industries and work in close cooperation with our industry specialists. We work with a wide range of industries such as media, energy, construction and retail in addition to public sector.

We assist with merger control processes, investigations, appeals and litigation proceedings and provide ongoing advice related to competition law, state aid law and other EEA law. We assist clients e.g. in relation to the Norwegian Competition Authority, The EFTA surveillance Authority and the EFTA Court.

Our aim is to provide pragmatic and practical advice that creates value for our clients.

Areas of Expertise

Competition law

We assist with strategic advice in respect of mergers, acquisitions and other structural transactions and with relevant notifications to competition authorities.

We provide ongoing advice related to the prohibitions on anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominant position. We also represent our clients in cases involving the Norwegian Competition Authority, the Competition Appeal Board, the EFTA Surveillance Authority, the Commission and the Norwegian courts.

Enforcement of competition law takes place both through investigations by relevant competition authorities, hereunder dawn-raids, and through private enforcement litigation. Our firm is generally known for its superior competence within dispute resolution/litigation and for assisting companies and their management subject to criminal proceedings. We are thus ideally suited to handle competition law investigations and lawsuits. We have hereunder extensive experience with competition law and EEA-related litigation both in Norwegian courts and the EFTA-Court.

State aid

The public sector supports businesses in various ways ranging from regular purchase of goods and services to pure subsidies. State aid rules regulate transactions between the public sector and businesses to ensure a fair market place.

Our lawyers have extensive experience handling state aid issues. We assist inter alia with:

  • Handling of state aid issues for businesses that receive state subsidies or otherwise engage in economic transactions with the public sector.
  • Notifications to the EFTA Surveillance Authority on state aid issues.
  • Complaints to the EFTA Surveillance Authority on state aid issues.
  • Enforcement of state aid regulations in Norwegian courts.

The EEA-Agreement has a profound implication of Norwegian law. Understanding the EU directives and regulations on which Norwegian law is based, the EEA-legislative process and the EU/EEA institutions and legal practice is crucial. We advise and assist our clients both in relation to relevant authorities and in the courts in cases that involve questions regarding implementation of EU/EEA law. We also provide advice on the free movement of goods, services, persons and capital within the EEA-Area.

Dispute Resolution

Disputes within this sector are often complex. We have broad experience on dispute resolution, appeals and litigation inter alia before the Competition Appeal Board, the EFTA Surveillance Authority, the Norwegian courts and the EFTA Court.

In Hjort, it is the lawyers working in the practice area on a daily basis that represent our clients before the courts or in arbitration. We thus ensure that clients have the advantage of our market knowledge also in dispute situations.

With 'good communication skills' and 'an ability to quickly find a solution', Advokatfirmaet Hjort covers the full spectrum of competition issues with notable expertise in dominance-related issues, competition litigation, public procurement and state aid issues.

– Legal 500 (2019)