• Sweden edition
 

Telia Sonera may lose Stockholm as customer

Published: 22 Apr 2012 11:45 GMT+02:00
Updated: 22 Apr 2012 11:45 GMT+02:00

Stockholm municipality is in the process of renewing the city’s telephone contract. The city is currently a Telia Sonera customer.

However, Stockholm municipality has threatened to change providers following the revelation of Telia Sonera’s cooperation with several dictatorships, reported several Swedish media sources.

This move would lose Telia Sonera some 40,000 phone subscriptions.

The Liberal Party's Madeleine Sjöstedt, Stockholm’s deputy mayor of culture and real estate, described the information unveiled about Telia Sonera “upsetting and surprising”.

"I think we should consider introducing a human rights clause in our contracts, since such progress has been made in companies' CSR plans. Many companies have them, but obviously many have work left to do," she said to national radio station SR.

The Green Party, Centre Party and the Christian Democrats also allegedly support investigating the city’s contract with Telia Sonera.

National TV station SVT showed last week that Telia Sonera is making a bundle in dealings with several dictatorships, for instance Azerbajdzjan, Belarus and Uzbekistan.

In order to secure the lucrative contracts, the telephone systems have reportedly been opened for the countries’ security services, leading to tapped phones and arrested dissidents.

Telia Sonera's CEO Lars Nyberg defended the company's actions in an opinion piece in newspaper Dagens Nyheter, in which he wrote that single companies cannot take responsibility for human rights.

"That responsibility lies with politicians and governments," he wrote.

TT/Clara Guibourg (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:00 April 22, 2012 by GLO
These are questions for each person to answer.
14:52 April 22, 2012 by riose
I hope they don't use anything made in China.
18:40 April 22, 2012 by Douglas Garner
I'm sorry, but this is ridiculous. As long as any company is in compliance with the laws of its incorporation and within the laws of the lands in which it operates, it should not be subject to this type of political blackmail!
18:56 April 22, 2012 by Happy Expat
So, Sweden wants to sell weapons for human destruction to the dictators in Saudi Arabia but doesn't want TeliaSonera to sell communications to the dictators in Eastern Europe.

As usual, somebody in Sweden has their nose up their own posterior. Perhaps looking for their next promotion.
19:56 April 22, 2012 by Abe L
200% agree with #3, it is not up to local community's to make such considerations. They should purchase these services from whoever can provide it best and cheapest, leaving political considerations out of it.
01:07 April 23, 2012 by byke
Telia was privatised a few years back to ensure there was no monopoly.

Yet they still own all the land lines and through such ownership can charge line rental fees that are disproportionate to their cost.

In turn charging customers a rental fee to be able to access free state services such as 112.
05:58 April 23, 2012 by calebian22
Next they will be calling for a Eurovision boycott in Azerbajdzjan.
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