“We take note that the Norwegian Competition Authority wants to spend a little more time on its application assessment, and we look forward to the final decision on the matter,” says Norwegian CEO Geir Karlsen. “We have had a good and constructive dialogue with the Competition Authority and have submitted extensive documentation within the deadlines set by the Authority. We are also aware that they have obtained third-party views.”
The airline interprets the delay as the Competition Authority needing more time due to the large amounts of information and data that must reviewed for approval of the purchase.
Karlsen argues the benefits of the acquisition, saying, “Our goal with the purchase of Widerøe is clear. We want to create an even better and more holistic offer for all our passengers. Widerøe and Norwegian have few overlapping routes and complement each other with different aircraft fleets and operations. Both companies will continue to have bases, head offices, and employees in Norway like today. Widerøe will remain its own brand, with headquarters in Bodø. The company will maintain existing agreements with other airlines. Based on the facts of the case, I am optimistic about the final outcome of the application processing.”
The Norwegian Competition Authority has announced they will present a new assessment by 17 November 2023. The deadline for the Norwegian Competition Authority’s review is 3 January 2024. Norwegian and Widerøe will continue working closely with the Norwegian Competition Authority and share all relevant information to get the transaction approved as quickly as possible.