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Swisscom Wins Appeal Against Antitrust Fine

 |  April 22, 2024

The Swiss Federal Court has sided with telecommunications giant Swisscom in its appeal against the Competition Commission (ComCo). The decision marks a turning point in a long-standing legal battle that began in 2015.

The Competition Commission had initially fined Swisscom a hefty CHF 7 million in 2015 for allegedly violating anti-trust regulations in connection to a tender for Swiss Post. However, the Swiss Federal Court’s recent ruling has overturned this decision, offering a reprieve to Swisscom.

According to the judgment released by the Federal Court, while Swisscom indeed held a dominant market position during the bidding process for a Swiss Post network, there was no evidence of unjustifiably high prices being imposed on competitors like Sunrise or Swiss Post. The court concluded that Swisscom’s pricing strategies did not exhibit any coercive behavior.

The crux of the matter revolved around allegations of unfair pricing practices and margin squeezes. The Competition Commission had accused Swisscom of imposing unreasonable prices on Sunrise and Swiss Post, as well as engaging in a margin squeeze against Sunrise. However, the Federal Court found insufficient evidence to support these claims.

Read more: Swisscom Faces Massive Infrastructure Challenge Amid Antitrust Measures

Furthermore, the court emphasized that Swisscom’s pricing for wholesale products, crucial for competitors like Sunrise, was fair and not unreasonably high. It was also noted that the contract price negotiated with Swiss Post was mutually agreed upon and did not reflect any unilateral imposition by Swisscom.

The legal saga traces back to 2008 when Swiss Post sought tenders for the construction and operation of a wide area network (WAN) covering its numerous locations. Swisscom secured the contract, triggering a complaint from the unsuccessful bidder, Sunrise. This complaint eventually led to the Competition Commission’s investigation and subsequent fine against Swisscom.

While the Federal Administrative Court had initially upheld some aspects of the Competition Commission’s decision, it reduced the fine imposed on Swisscom. However, the recent ruling by the Swiss Federal Court marks a definitive victory for Swisscom, overturning the Commission’s findings altogether.

Source: Swiss Info