Competition and state aid law

Both competition law and state aid aim to prevent distortion of competition and contribute to better utilisation of society’s resources. Arntzen de Besche has assisted with competition law since the origin of the EEA Agreement, and today has one of Norway’s broadest and most experienced academic communities in this area. We assist Norwegian companies and foreign companies operating in the Norwegian market, and we assist state aid providers as well as recipients.

Advice from our lawyers

Regulations in competition law are dynamic and complex, and thorough knowledge of the regulations is a prerequisite for competing efficiently. The need for advice in this area has grown as the competition authorities have taken on an increasingly active role, and adopted stricter measures with regard to breach of the regulations. We assist our clients with everything from ongoing advice, processes against competition authorities and any disputes. We provide assistance with the following:

  • all types of contract negotiations such as collaboration agreements, purchase agreements, annual agreements, delivery and distribution agreements, joint venture agreements, franchise agreements, etc.
  • drafting of instruments and follow-up of agreements
  • compliance with competition rules (own or competitor’s)
  • acquisitions, mergers and establishment of joint ventures
  • emergency response team to assist when the competition authorities search the company’s premises
  • investigations (internal and external), audit
  • dispute resolution
  • courses and training

Advice on State Aid

The state aid regulations regulate aid provided by the state, municipalities or other public bodies. We assist several of the key aid providers in Norway, including Enova, as well as research institutions, trade associations and national and foreign companies, in respect of the scope and consequences of the prohibition in the EEA Agreement. We help you with the following:

  • strategy and design to get into position to receive aid
  • challenging illegal aid to competitors
  • receiving and following up aid
  • drafting of aid schemes and aid decisions
  • investigation assignments
  • dispute resolution

We assist our clients in handling these types of cases before the EFTA Surveillance Authority and the European Commission. We also have experience in representing clients before national courts and the EFTA Court in cases concerning illegal public aid and repayment claims.

What you can expect from us

We are a team with a broad range of skills and experience from industry, from foreign law firms and from the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA). We invest a considerable amount of time to get acquainted with the client’s business and activities in the market.

We have a large international network to draw on in cases involving other countries’ authorities. Moreover, we work closely with specialist communities in competition economics as well as internal specialists in order to put together the most optimum resources for each individual case.


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What we have done

Arntzen de Besche has assisted Nutreco in a strategic investment in Andfjord Salmon

Animal research and nutrition specialist Nutreco and the Norwegian seafood group Holmøy are taking part in a private placement in Andfjord Salmon. In addition, Andfjord Salmon has entered into an operational feed supply agreement with Nutreco’s aquaculture business line, Skretting. We are proud to assist Nutreco as legal advisors in this process.

Bonnier Books acquires 70 % of Strawberry Publishing

Arntzen de Besche has assisted Bonnier Books AB in the acquisition of 70% of the shares in the Norwegian publishing group Strawberry Publishing. Petter Stordalen and the three other founders retain 30% of the ownership and operations continue under the current name Strawberry Publishing.

NTS merges with Frøy Gruppen

The Board of Directors in OSE-listed company NTS ASA has entered into an agreement with Gåsø Næringsutvikling AS to merge with Frøy Gruppen. Arntzen de Besche has been legal advisor to both parties in the transaction.


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