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ESA discontinues parts of the case against Telenor

Press release   •   Jun 25, 2019 08:10 BST

(Fornebu, 25 June 2019) EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has decided to discontinue one of the matters concerning suspected breach of competition law in the Norwegian mobile market.

In December 2012 ESA conducted an unannounced inspection at Telenor's premises to investigate whether Telenor had infringed competition law. In February 2016 Telenor received a statement of objections (SO) from ESA. In the SO, ESA informed Telenor that they inter alia investigated subscription lock-in practices for business customers.

–ESA has informed Telenor that they have decided to discontinue the investigation of lock-in practices without concluding in the matter. Telenor has maintained that our agreements are legal, and we are therefore satisfied that this part of the case is discontinued by ESA, says Ragnhild Mathisen, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Norway.

In addition, ESA has issued a so-called supplementary SO regarding Telenor's margins between the wholesale and retail prices for the provision of standalone mobile broadband* services to residential customers in the period between 2008 and 2012. The updated SO is not a final decision and Telenor will use its opportunity to comment on the SO before ESA is to reach its final conclusion.

–Our impression is that this part of the case corresponds to the SO issued by ESA in 2016, although the supplementary SO indicates that the alleged problem is of a more limited scope than ESA initially assumed.

The investigation concerns matters dating back to 2008 to 2012.

– We have continuously cooperated with the Authority and will do so until the investigation ends. We will carefully examine the details of the SO and provide our comments to ESA, says Mathisen.

* Mobile broadband standalone is a separate mobile broadband subscription – as opposed to standard mobile subscriptions. Mobile broadband standalone is a small and mainly historic product, as standard mobile subscriptions including data is preferred for mobile data communication.

Telenor Norge AS is Norway's largest provider of telecommunications and digital services. Our infrastructure is the foundation for digitising Norway, with its world-class coverage and high speeds. Our services and products contribute to increased productivity and provide access to everything that the digital world has to offer. Our services and products help to improve productivity and provide access to all digital content. Our security and preparedness organisation works around the clock to keep our customers safe, and we are particularly aware of our social responsibility to provide security and safety for children and young people online.

We employ 3400 people in 23 offices across Norway and we are a part of the Telenor Group, which has operations in 12 countries. Our main office is located on Fornebu in Baerum.