Swisscom risks sanctions over fibre deals

7 Sep 2011

Switzerland’s Federal Competition Commission (ComCom) has warned the incumbent, Swisscom, that it may face sanctions as a result of its fibre deployment deals. Following an investigation into the cooperation agreements between Swisscom and utility providers in Basel, Bern, Lucerne, St. Gallen and Zurich the regulator decided not to prohibit the agreements but warned that certain aspects of the terms could limit competition, and that the companies might incur penalties as a result. Although Swisscom and its local partners have decided to rollout multi-fibre networks in an attempt to satisfy antitrust laws, Swisscom has retained the right to set price floors for certain services which could in turn severely hamper the efforts of rivals. Swisscom’s rival broadband provider, US-backed UPC Cablecom has demanded that market players take action to address the regulator’s concerns.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Switzerland’s broadband, wireless and fixed markets have been dominated by Swisscom largely as a result of late local loop unbundling, which only began in 2007. The regulator has attempted to encourage competition, but so far to little effect. Unusually for a European country the incumbent has not only maintained its market dominance, but increased it. Swisscom has increased its broadband market share from 48.3% in June 2007, to 60.7% in June 2011.