In early July 2023, Scandinavian LCC, Norwegian Air Shuttle made headlines with its intent to acquire Nordic regional carrier, Widerøe.
The Norwegian Competition Authority (NCA) has been diligently collecting and analyzing detailed information from the parties involved, as well as other actors in the same market.
As of September 15th, the Authority’s first deadline for presenting a preliminary assessment of the acquisition has arrived.
Compromised market competition?
According to the Competition Authority’s preliminary assessment, there are concerns about the potential impairment of competition in the Scandinavian market for air travel.
If competition is indeed impaired in a way that leads to increased prices and a reduced offer for Norwegian air passengers, the Competition Authority holds the power to prohibit the acquisition from taking place.
Recognizing the significance of the air travel market for Norwegian consumers, Norwegian Competition Authority Director Gjermund Nese emphasizes the importance of “well-functioning competition”.
He stated that “It is crucial to ensure that Norwegian air travelers have access to the best possible offers at the lowest possible prices”.
Nese went on to say that “Further analyses are required to determine how Norwegian’s acquisition of Widerøe will impact competition in this market”.
New assessment by November
As outlined in the Competition Act, the Competition Authority must publish a new assessment by November 17th. At that point, they will either permit the acquisition or notify the parties involved if there are grounds for prohibiting it.
The Project Manager at the NCA, Katrine Amdam, explains that the preliminary assessment “raises concerns that there may be a reason to fear that the acquisition will impact Norwegian Air passengers negatively”.
She concluded that “Going forward, the Competition Authority will more thoroughly consider the case to find out if the acquisition should be prohibited.”
The Norwegian Competition Authority has stated that it’s committed to safeguarding fair competition and ensuring the best interests of Norwegian air travelers.
AviationSource will continue to keep readers up to date with further developments and news regarding this exciting potential merger.
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