Telenor Norge has confirmed that a EUR112 million (USD118 million) fine handed to it back in June 2020 by the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has been upheld. In a press release regarding the matter Telenor Norge confirmed that the EFTA Court had ruled against it following an appeal, in which it appealed for the original decision to be revoked. Telenor Norge now notes that with the judgment upholding the ESA’s original decision, the matter cannot be reviewed further. The operator also confirmed that it had paid the fine back in Q2 2020 and as such suggested the court ruling would ‘not have further accounting effects’.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in June 2020 the ESA fined Telenor Norge after concluding the latter had ‘abused its market dominance by a pricing strategy that resulted in rivals making a loss when selling residential mobile broadband services on tablets and laptops’. At the time, the ESA said that following an in-depth investigation it had determined that during a ‘critical growth phase in mobile data in Norway’ Telenor Norge’s wholesale prices for access to its network had been priced higher than the retail prices it charged its own residential users for accessing mobile broadband services on large-screen devices, such as tablets and laptops. Arguing that Telenor’s margin squeeze prevented rival providers competing viably between 2008 and end-2012, the ESA argued this amounted to an abuse of the telco’s dominant position on the wholesale market, in breach of the European Economic Area (EEA) antitrust rules.