The Norwegian Supreme Court affirms the annulment of the Competition Authority’s decision prohibiting the acquisition of a used car sales online portal by an online marketplace owner (Schibsted / Nettbil)

In its judgment of 16 February 2023, the Norwegian Supreme Court (the “Supreme Court”) affirmed the annulment of a decision by the Norwegian competition authority (“NCA”) which had prohibited Schibsted ASA (“Schibsted”) from acquiring a majority stake in the used car sales portal Nettbil AS (“Nettbil”). The Supreme Court found that the parties’ services, while both broadly related to used car advertisement services, were clearly different and that NCA had not sufficiently substantiated its position that the transaction would eliminate competition between the parties’ services. Nor was there sufficient evidence to support the NCA’s view that the transaction would harm innovation as, absent the transaction, Schibsted could have developed a service that competed more directly with Nettbil.

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