Wednesday, October 20

Deadline for the Norwegian Competition Authority to postpone DNB’s acquisition of Sbanken – E24


After DNB submitted a proposal for corrective measures on Wednesday afternoon, the Authority has 15 new days to provide a final response on the acquisition.

Kjerstin Braathen, CEO of DNB.

Published:

The case is being updated.

The Norwegian Competition Authority originally had a deadline on Thursday to make a final decision in the case of DNB’s acquisition of Sbanken.

But on Thursday, the Authority announces that the new deadline is October 28.

The Authority announced in August that it is still relevant to stop the acquisition, after announcing a possible suspension in June.

The background was concerns related to the possible reduction of competition in the savings fund market.

DNB confirms that the bank has made proposals for measures that the bank believes will alleviate preliminary concerns from the Norwegian Competition Authority.

– In all these acquisition cases, companies have the opportunity to make proposals for measures that can eliminate the concerns of the Norwegian Competition Authority that competition will weaken to the detriment of consumers. DNB has now chosen to take advantage of this opportunity. The Authority will now make an assessment of the proposed measures, says department director Gjermund Nese at the Norwegian Competition Authority.

– Too early to say anything about the result.

According to the audit, it is clear from the Competition Law that the term for processing the case is postponed by 15 business days when there are proposals for corrective measures at this time in the case.

– It is not uncommon for there to be proposals for corrective measures in this type of case. Sometimes it means that the acquisition can be approved, other times it cannot. It is too early to say what the outcome of this case will be. We are also unable at this time to comment further on DNB’s specific proposed measures, says project manager Katrine Amdam at the Norwegian Competition Authority.

Nese explains to E24 that the Competition Law allows that when there are proposals for corrective measures at “this time of processing”, the deadline can be postponed by 15 business days.

– They arrived at the competition authority yesterday afternoon, says Nese about when they received the proposals for corrective measures.

The department director cannot comment on the specific proposals, but notes that they will now assess whether the measures eliminate the Authority’s concerns related to the acquisition.

– There is no longer any reason to fear that competition will be hurt by DNB’s purchase of Sbanken, he says.

The new deadline for a final decision is October 28, but if it ends with an auditing ban, companies have an opportunity to appeal to the Competition Appeals Board, Nese explains.

DNB says it has a good dialogue with the Norwegian Competition Authority on the proposed corrective measures and will continue the process with a view to the Norwegian Competition Authority being able to complete the case as soon as possible.

– The Norwegian Competition Authority has been working intensively on the case throughout the summer and is still concerned that DNB’s acquisition of Sbanken could lead to weakened competition and worse conditions for bank clients who want to save on funds, he said. the director of the department Gjermund Nese in the Norwegian Competition. Authority.

DNB was “satisfied”

Acquisition experts believe that DNB will be able to complete the acquisition, in part because the fund business is a limited part of the acquisition.

DNB said in June that the bank was “satisfied” that the Norwegian Competition Authority “has confirmed that potential competition issues are only related to the distribution of funds and not to mortgages or other banking services that constitute the most important part” of the company’s operations.

Billion dollar acquisitions

In early summer, DNB increased its offer to NOK 11.6 billion, from the original NOK 11.1 billion. Since then, the bank has secured more than 90 per cent of the shares and can therefore compulsorily repay the last 10 per cent.

The news of DNB’s desire to acquire generated furor and flight threats from customers. Several of the customers noted a bad reputation, terms, and customer service.

also read

The Norwegian Competition Authority: It is still relevant to stop DNB’s acquisition of Sbanken

also read

DNB receives criticism from Oslo Børs, notified too late of Sbanken acquisition


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