Norway’s Competition Authority fines Telenor of $96.3 million for abusing its dominant market position

Telenor has said it is contemplating an appeal in the case. Incidentally, in 2016, Norway’s Competition Authority had considered imposing a fine of 906 million Norwegian crowns, but later dropped parts of the case.

On Thursday, Norway’s Competition Authority stated it had imposed a fine of $96.3 million (788 million crowns) on Telenor, the country’s largest telecoms provider, citing abuse of its dominant market position.

The case revolves around the planned introduction of a third mobile phone network in the country so as to bring more competition into the telecom space which Telenor had resisted, said the regulator.

According to the regulator, from 2007 Tele2 and Network Norway had jointly sought to build a third nationwide mobile phone network and had purchased access, for its customers, to Telenor’s network in the areas that it had not yet developed.

However, in 2010, Telenor altered the agreement in such a manner that it kiled any economic incentive to build a separate network, said the regulator

“The Competition Authority has found that Telenor deliberately altered the access agreement to stop Network Norway’s further investments in the third network,” said the regulator in a statement.

“We disagree that we have violated the Competition Act,” said Telenor in its statement while adding that it was contemplating filing an appeal to Norway’s Competition Appeals Committee and later to the courts.

Incidentally, in 2016, the Competition Authority had considered imposing a fine of 906 million Norwegian crowns, but later dropped parts of the case, said Telenor.

With the news reaching the market, Telenor’s shares were down by 0.6% at the opening of the Oslo Bourse.

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