Polish telco threatens lawsuit if 4G sale is cut short

23 Sep 2015

The Polish government could face legal action if it decides to push ahead with a plan to cut short the country’s long-running auction of 4G LTE spectrum. The sale of 800MHz and 2600MHz frequencies began in February but is showing no signs of reaching a conclusion, with six firms bidding for 19 packets of spectrum and total offers having reached PLN7.39 billion (USD1.95 billion). The government has said it is considering a move to impose a limit of 115 auction days on the sale, which could bring it to an end next month. The auction has been subject to a number of pauses where bidding has been suspended to allow participants to meet the various deposit payments.

According to Bloomberg, however, Olympia Development, the Greece-based owner of Poland’s fourth largest cellco P4/Play, is threatening to sue for up to EUR500 million (USD557 million) in ‘tangible damages’ and an ‘irreversible infringement of interests’ should the sale be interrupted. Other bidders, including number three player Polkomtel and market leader T-Mobile, have also criticised the plans to cut short the auction process. Jorgen Bang-Jensen, P4’s chief executive officer, told Bloomberg: ‘We need the frequencies and we are strongly in favour of a quick sale of them to operators.’ He added that by intervening in the auction the government ‘may get into long-lasting legal disputes that would be harmful for the whole industry’.

Poland, Play (P4), Plus (Polkomtel), T-Mobile Poland