Searching for competition: a comment on the Norwegian residential property market investigation
As part of the growing discussion on the topic of intermediaries and competition policy, the present article comments on the investigation by the Norwegian Competition Authority (NCA) into online advertising for residential property market between years 2008-2009, the adoption of the Regulation for online advertisement, and the follow-up studies by the NCA published in 2011 demonstrating the positive results out of this intervention. The aim is to provide certain useful insights on how the imposed remedies demonstrate the ability to improve conditions of competition (or particularly enhancing those elements that promote conditions of competition) within this virtual environment, while also achieving a wider positive impact, not merely confined to conditions of competition either in or for that specific virtual space. The central issue in the Norwegian case (and behind any such similar case) was that of establishing accessto a ubiquitous virtual (and private) space/market, and from this perspective the discussion is also of current interest. Importantly, as an additional consideration, the results achieved in that case appear to further suggest that a blend of technology and competition policy (introduced in a pro-active manner) could be used to promote more workable and competitive market conditions and assist in achieving the future and wider technological, economic, and social targets pursued at a pan-European level.
competition law; competition policy; internet; intermediation