ESA Investigates Norwegian Banks for Possible Competition Rules Violation

ESA will investigate whether these banks have broken cartel ban by concluding agreements, participate in decisions or aligning practice for closing new e-payment services out of the Norwegian market.
– The decision to open a formal case does not mean that ESA already has concluded what the outcome of the investigation will be.  It just means that ESA will undertake a thorough investigation, said Frank J. Büchel from ESA to NRK.
The problem is, according to ESA that Norwegian consumers are unable to access a new payment service that is available in most other EEA countries, and ESA will investigate whether the banking industry’s exclusion of the service is contrary to the EEA Agreement.
– The presence of new players and increase competition in this area is important for online merchants and provides a better deal for consumers in Norway.  We‚Äôre going to prioritize this issue, says Büchel.
ESA received in 2015 a complaint from the Swedish company Trustly. The company offers electronic payment and believes it is prevented from selling its service in Norway.
ESA will examine the matter in the light of Article 53 of the EEA Agreement.  ESA can also get to expand the investigation and may include additional financial institutions later, writes NRK.
ESA has right to impose fines of up to 10 percent of the worldwide turnover of a company that violates competition rules.

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