The Norwegian Competition Authority clears the acquisition of Tele2 by TeliaSonera, subject to conditions

The Competition Authority has approved the proposed acquisition of Tele2 by TeliaSonera. The approval is conditional upon the full implementation of a commitments package submitted by TeliaSonera, which includes the conclusion of a roaming agreement with ICE and the sale of Tele2’s mobile network and the mobile operator Network Norway to ICE.

– Competition for Norwegian mobile customers occurs primarily between companies with their own mobile network. The final commitments offered by TeliaSonera provides the basis for the development of a third mobile network in Norway. For that reason, we can now clear this acquisition, says Director General Christine Meyer.

TeliaSonera’s acquisition of Tele2 came about after a spectrum auction in December 2013 where Tele2 lost most of its spectrum to a new market entrant, ICE. This put Tele2’s Norwegian business in a difficult position.

The Competition Authority scrutinises mergers and acquisitions to determine whether they will produce anticompetitive effects. On 1 December 2014, the Authority announced that TeliaSonera’s acquisition could be blocked as it would reduce the number of networks in Norway from three to two. To address these concerns, TeliaSonera submitted new and improved commitments.

– In our discussions with TeliaSonera, the Competition Authority made it clear that a third network operator with a certain customer base is vital to ensure continued competition on price and quality. The commitments offered by TeliaSonera provide a real opportunity for a third mobile network operator to enter the market and to compete for Norwegian mobile customers, says Director Gjermund Nese.

Network and customer base to ICE To remove the Authority’s concerns that the merger would have led to higher prices and less competition, TeliaSonera submitted commitments based on the following components:

– TeliaSonera sells infrastructure to ICE

– TeliaSonera concludes a roaming and service provider agreement with ICE

– TeliaSonera sells Network Norway’s customer base (corporate), distribution network and frequencies to ICE

– TeliaSonera commits to offer MVNO access to Norwegian mobile operators

– TeliaSonera offers to sell three Tele2 stores to ICE

Portrettbilde av Gjermund Nese, avdelingsdirektør i Konkurransetilsynet.
Director Gjermund Nese