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UPDATE: Norwegian competition authority raids SAS Braathens' offices.

AIRLINE INDUSTRY INFORMATION-(C)1997-2004 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD

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Scandinavian airline SAS said on Tuesday (22 June) that the Norwegian competition authority had raided its Norwegian subsidiary SAS Braathens' offices at Fornebu in Baerum.

The raid was related to the airline's pricing strategy in the Norwegian market and an assessment on the issue of abuse of its dominant position, according to the company. The suspicion arose after the launch of a large campaign that included price cuts at the end of April.

The competition authority pointed out that the use of such measures to secure evidence did not mean that SAS Braathens' actions were in contravention of competition regulations, SAS added.

SAS said that the authority had made several such visits to Norwegian companies during the year.

The competition authority said in its own statement that the purpose of the inspection was to collect further information, and thus facilitate the authority's handling of the ongoing case regarding the pricing policy of SAS Braathens.

The authority added that it was currently considering whether the company was infringing the prohibition on abuse of dominance by applying prices below costs in order to eliminate competition.

Although SAS Braathens was recently acquitted of not breaching competition laws in Norway, the acquittal concerned the period January to September last year and the competition authority said that it is too early to draw any conclusions regarding the most recent suspicions, reported the Norwegian online newspaper Nettavisen.

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Publication:Airline Industry Information
Date:Jun 23, 2004
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