Telia “abused market position”

The Swedish Competition Authority is to begin legal action against Telia Sonera, alleging that the telecoms company has "selectively applied more favourable conditions to private customers who had cancelled their fixed line subscription and changed to a competitor to Telia Sonera".

The Competition Authority is seeking a penalty of 44 million kronor from Telia Sonera.

It said in a press release that Telia Sonera had abused its dominant position in the market, which is forbidden.

Telia Sonera’s objective with the different conditions was, according to the Competition Authority, to lure back those customers who had cancelled their subscription. The breach of the rules is said to have taken place in 2003 and 2004.

“The company was guilty of a serious infringement of competition law when it abused its dominant position in this way,” said Director General of the Swedish Competition Authority, Claes Norgren.

This is the second time the Competition Authority has brought an action against Telia. In autumn 2004 the company was accused of abusing its position in the market for ADSL services. That case has not yet come to court but the Competition Authority is seeking fines of 144 million kronor.