The Competition Authority has imposed fines totalling 32 million on four publishing houses for committing acts of collusion.
Aschehoug received a fine of 9.66 million, Cappelen Damm a fee of 9.1 million, Gyldendal 7,880,000, and Vigmostad & Bjørke (former owner of Schibsted publishing) received a fine of 4,560,000.
The Competition Authority believes the publishers have violated the Competition Act.
‘They have collaborated on a collective boycott of the distributor, Interpress, and exchanged competitively sensitive information’, said director Mads Magnussen.
The Competition Authority stated that the collaboration was to restrict competition in the mass book market, which includes outlets that are not bookstores, such as kiosks, grocery stores, and gas stations.
‘The four publishers account for the bulk of shipments of books to Norwegian consumers. The collaborative boycott was designed to not deliver books to one of two distributors.
The only real competitor to Interpress was Bladcentralen, where all four publishers are owners, said Department chief, Gjermund Nese.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today