The Competition Authority considers imposing a fine of NOK 906 million on Telenor
– This case affects all users of mobile phones in Norway. Our preliminary view is that Telenor abused its dominant position by engaging in conduct that impeded the entry of a third competing mobile network, says Director General Lars Sørgard.
Norway is one of the few countries in Europe having only two mobile network providers with nationwide coverage, Telenor and Telia. The entry of a third network has been crucial in order to increase competition in the Norwegian mobile market.
– In Norway there is a high consumption of mobile services. Healthy competition is important for guaranteeing a good supply of these services at the lowest price possible, says Director Gjermund Nese.
A dominant company has a special responsibility to ensure that its conduct does not distort competition. It is the Authority's preliminary conclusion that Telenor abused its dominant position in the period between 2010 and 2014. The conduct amounted to two separate abuses that put the roll out of the third mobile network at risk.
From 2007 onwards, Network Norway and Tele2 established a third mobile network in Norway. During the network roll-out phase, Telenor was required to provide them with access to its network in areas where the third network was not yet present.
– The first abuse regards Telenor's conditions for giving Network Norway access to its network when the third network was under construction. These conditions reduced the profitability of building the third network, says Sørgard.
Mobile communications companies that do not possess their own networks need access to established networks, in order to provide their customers with mobile communications services.
– The second abuse regards the fact that Telenor entered exclusive supply agreements with four mobile operators, reducing the ability of the third network to get customers, says Sørgard.
The Competition Authority has warned Telenor that it is considering imposing a fine of NOK 906 million.
– Infringements of the Competition Act's ban on abuse of a dominant position are very serious, and the notified fine of NOK 906 million underlines this, says Sørgard.
The Competition Authority wishes to make it clear that the findings in the Statement of Objections are preliminary, and that a final decision in the case has not yet been made.
Telenor has been invited to submit its comments on the Statement of Objections by 1 March 2017.
- The Competition Authority carried out unannounced inspections at the premises of Telenor Norge and Telenor ASA, 4th to the 13th of December 2012.
- The suspected infringements concerned possible abuses of a dominant position in the Norwegian mobile communications market.
- The Competition Authority has analysed substantial amounts of physical and digital documentation, and conducted several interviews in the course of its investigation.
- The Competition Authority issued a Statement of Objections to Telenor on 23 November 2016 for abuse of a dominant position, in breach of the Competition Act section 11.