Updated: Oslo Sporveier faces severe EU fine / News / The Foreigner

Updated: Oslo Sporveier faces severe EU fine. The EU could order Oslo Tramways Company (Oslo Sporveier) to repay 800 million kroner in unlawfully claimed aid to the city of Oslo. Minor competitor Konkurrenten.no lodged a complaint in 2006 alleging that Oslo Sporveier, now called Kollektivtransportproduksjon AS (KTP) and owned by Oslo municipality, received millions of kroner in illegal state aid two years earlier, Aftenposten writes. It believes this enabled Oslo Sporveier (now KTP), which runs public transport services in Oslo, Akerhus, and Vestfold, to dump prices on bus routes to southern Norway, (Sørlandet), also served by Konkurrenten.no.

oslosporveier, eu, europeanunion, konkurrenten, kollektivtransportproduksjon, eftasurveillanceauthority,



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Updated: Oslo Sporveier faces severe EU fine

Published on Wednesday, 2nd February, 2011 at 09:34 under the news category, by Nicoleta Dumitrache Sincan.
Last Updated on 2nd February 2011 at 12:19.

The EU could order Oslo Tramways Company (Oslo Sporveier) to repay 800 million kroner in unlawfully claimed aid to the city of Oslo.

Oslo tram
Oslo tram
Photo: Lhoon/Flickr


Minor competitor Konkurrenten.no lodged a complaint in 2006 alleging that Oslo Sporveier, now called Kollektivtransportproduksjon AS (KTP) and owned by Oslo municipality, received millions of kroner in illegal state aid two years earlier, Aftenposten writes.

It believes this enabled Oslo Sporveier (now KTP), which runs public transport services in Oslo, Akerhus, and Vestfold, to dump prices on bus routes to southern Norway, (Sørlandet), also served by Konkurrenten.no.

The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) started to investigate the matter, concluding last year the money was just a continuation of existing aid, and therefore not illegal. KTP was freed from its obligation to return the money and the case was closed.

Konkurrenten.no subsequently lodged an appeal with the EFTA Court, meaning the case could be reopened.  

It was thought last year that only 112 million was transferred illegally, but this is only a percentage of the subsidy that went to Sporveisbussene AS. Should the Court decide the money must be repaid, it may be the full amount plus interest.

The European Commission supports Konkurrenten.no and believes “the 800 million in 2004 must be regarded as new aid, not the continuation of an existing state aid.” The Norwegian company is pleased with the EU’s decision to help it in this matter.

“The Commission confirms our main contention that ESA should have treated this as new and illegal state aid. We believe ESA is committed to demand that it must be repaid, and have therefore brought the matter before the EFTA Court”, says Konkurrenten.no’s attorney, Øyvind Eide Midthjell.

He also believes that by receiving the unlawful state aid, Oslo Sporveier has made private companies’ lives difficult.

“This case is important because the illegal funding has caused those who own and work in competing companies considerable economic damage, even if they run their business better than KTP”, Mr Midthjell says.

The appeal hearing is scheduled for April 13, and the court will pass its final judgment this summer.



Published on Wednesday, 2nd February, 2011 at 09:34 under the news category, by Nicoleta Dumitrache Sincan.
Last updated on 2nd February 2011 at 12:19.

This post has the following tags: oslosporveier, eu, europeanunion, konkurrenten, kollektivtransportproduksjon, eftasurveillanceauthority, .





  
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