Telenor Norge is facing a possible NOK906 million (USD105 million) fine from the Norwegian Competition Authority (NCA) related to the alleged of abuse of its dominant position in the mobile sector.
With the NCA having issued a Statement of Objections to Telenor Norge relating to the matter, the watchdog has made a preliminary conclusion that the mobile network operator (MNO) abused its dominant position between 2010 and 2014, while arguing that its conduct ‘amounted to two separate abuses that put the rollout of [the country’s] third mobile network at risk’. With Network Norway and Tele2 having sought to establish a third mobile network in Norway, during the network rollout phase Telenor was required to provide access to its network in areas where this new infrastructure was not yet present. According to the NCA, the first abuse it claims is with regards to Telenor’s conditions for giving Network Norway access to its network, with these said to have reduced the profitability of building the third network. Meanwhile, the second abuse is reportedly linked to the fact that Telenor entered into exclusive supply agreements with four mobile operators, reducing the ability of the country’s third network operator to acquire customers.
With the findings in the Statement of Objections only preliminary, the NCA has, however, stressed that a final decision in the case has yet to be made. Telenor now has a chance to submit its comments on the matter, with the competition regulator having given it until 1 March 2017 to do so.