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EU antitrust watchdog drops probe into Swedish mobile operators

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EU antitrust watchdog drops probe into Swedish mobile operators
The European Commission decided not to pursue the investigation. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT
07:35 CEST+02:00
The European Commission has dropped an investigation into Swedish mobile telecommunication companies which prompted it to carry out early-morning raids at their offices in Sweden last year.

The decision comes after it carried out surprise inspections of telecom firms Tele2, Com Hem, Telia and 3 in April last year on suspicion of abuse of a collective dominant position to block entry into the market.

The companies all confirmed the raids and said they were cooperating with investigators. But after a year-long investigation the European Commission said it had decided to take no further action.

"On the basis of the evidence found, the Commission concluded there was no sufficient grounds to pursue this preliminary investigation," it said in a statement quoted by Reuters.

Tele2 confirmed in a statement that it had been informed of the probe ending: "Today, the European Commission has informed Tele2 that the investigation has been closed without any further action."

The EU executive body also said on Monday it had unconditionally approved a proposed merger of Com Hem and Tele2, after investigating whether such a move would be a breach of EU antitrust rules.

"The Commission concluded that the transaction would raise no competition concerns as the companies’ activities and assets are largely complementary," it said in a press statement.

It added that "the merged entity would not have market power to shut out or marginalize its fixed or mobile competitors by bundling fixed and mobile products" and concluded that "the transaction would raise no competition concerns in any of the affected markets and cleared the case unconditionally".

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