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PTS stops 3G licence sale on competition grounds

29 Apr 2004

Sweden’s telecoms industry regulator, the Post and Telecoms Authority (PTS), has halted the sale of Orange Sverige’s 3G licence to Svenska UMTS-nat, a 50/50 joint venture between TeliaSonera and Tele2, over fears it may hurt competition in the local cellular market. Svenska UMTS-nat agreed to buy the licence at the start of the year, following which Orange applied to the PTS for permission to reassign the licence. Svenska UMTS-nat, an original 3G licence winner, said it would use the new spectrum to expand its network coverage in a number of metropolitan areas. However, the PTS has now said that as TeliaSonera and Tele2 control more than 80% of revenues in the country’s mobile market, giving the two additional spectrum via the licence could hurt competition. The regulator now plans to consult on its ruling and will make a final decision within the next month.

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