Despite the deregulation of the market, the Norwegian express bus market is heavily
concentrated to one major actor; Nor-Way Bussekspress which is owned by 40 different bus
operators. We investigate this lack of competiton. Although several entry barriers can be
identified from a theoretical point of view, we find most of them to have negligible effects in
the real world.
One important entry barrier that we find is the fact that the main company, Nor-Way
Bussekspress, receives public subsidies for certain local parts of their express routes, paid by
local county councils. This not only guarantees a certain minimum of revenue, but is also an
efficient barrier for potential operators to enter the market.
However, this kind of arrangement has several positive effects. It makes a more extensive
service possible, and diminishes the need for additional local public transport. Whether these
benefits offset the welfare loss of reduced competition is an open question.