ESA fines Telenor EUR 112 million for anticompetitive practicesChristian Fernsby ▼ | July 6, 2020
Following an in-depth investigation, the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) concludes that Telenor 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.
Despite an acceleration in consumer demand for mobile data, Telenor’s pricing practices made it impossible for rivals that were dependent on buying wholesale access from Telenor to offer large-screen mobile broadband services to residential users without incurring a loss.
These “margin squeeze” practices prevented rival companies from competing viably from 2008 to the end of 2012 in what was an evolving and fast-growing market at the time.
As people started shifting to using mobile data while on the move, for example while travelling or in cabins, Telenor’s margin squeeze practices meant that its rivals would have faced losses when offering large-screen mobile broadband services to residential users over Telenor’s mobile network infrastructure.
ESA finds that this amounted to an abuse of Telenor’s dominant position on the wholesale market, in breach of the EEA antitrust rules.
ESA’s total fine of EUR 111 951 000 takes account of the duration and gravity of the infringement. The fine has been calculated on the basis of the value of Telenor’s revenue on the affected markets.
Telenor may also face civil actions for damages that can be brought before national courts by any person or business affected by its anti-competitive behaviour. ■