Norwegian competition authority claims incumbent deliberately tried to thwart rivals’ network deployment.
Telenor could face a 906 million kroner (€99.71 million) antitrust fine, after the competition watchdog accused it of deliberately impeding the entry of a competing mobile network.
The issue stems from the incumbent’s alleged business practices relating to the roll out of a third mobile network built by Network Norway and Tele2.
According to the Norwegian Competition Authority (NCA), Telenor was required to provide its rivals with access to its own network in areas where the third network was not yet present. The regulator claimed last week that Telenor attached onerous conditions to providing access, reducing the profitability of building the third network.
In addition, Telenor is accused of deliberately entering exclusive wholesale agreements with four mobile operators, reducing the ability of the third network to sign up customers.
The alleged abuses of Telenor’s dominant position took place between 2010 and 2014, the NCA said. If found to be true, they would constitute a breach of Norway’s Competition Act.
“Infringements of the Competition Act’s ban on abuse of a dominant position are very serious, and the notified fine of NOK906 million underlines this,” said Lars Sørgard, director general of the NCA, in a statement.
The NCA has sent a Statement of Objections (SO) to Telenor, giving it until 1 March 2017 to respond.