ESA issues SSO as it continues Telenor Norge investigation

26 Jun 2019

A Supplementary Statement of Objections (SSO) has been issued to Telenor Norge as part of an ongoing investigation into whether the Norwegian multi-service operator (MSO) abused a dominant market position in the wireless sector. In a press release, the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) said it had informed Telenor Norge in writing of additional arguments and evidence underpinning the objections raised against it. The SSO supplements the ESA’s preliminary view, which was outlined in a Statement of Objections back in February 2016 and argued that Telenor Norge may have hindered rivals by squeezing their margins when supplying standalone mobile broadband services to residential customers. According to the ESA, since first opening the investigation it has examined Telenor’s detailed reply and gathered additional information from market participants, and it is on the back of this work that further arguments and evidence are said to have come to light.

However, the ESA has also revealed that it is streamlining its investigation to focus solely on the margins available to alternative operators offering mobile broadband in the residential sector, with the body confirming it is discontinuing its examination of ‘breakage fees/clauses’ in Telenor Norge’s contracts with business users. Nonetheless, the ESA has said it intends to ‘maintain a close on market practices’ with regards to those fees and clauses in the business sector.

Telenor Norge has now been given until 13 August 2019 to reply to the SSO.

Norway, Telenor Norge