Norwegian authorities block TeliaSonera’s Tele2 acquisition

Norwegian authorities block TeliaSonera’s Tele2 acquisition

Norway’s competition authority, Konkurransetilsynet, has today revealed a number of concerns over TeliaSonera’s acquisition of Tele2’s Norwegian operations.

TeliaSonera revealed plans to buy Tele2 Norway for $744 million in July this year, but Konkurransetilsynet has now said that it fears the acquisition could lead to higher prices and lower-quality services.

“TeliaSonera has proposed measures to the competition authority to remedy competition concerns,” Konkurransetilsynet said in a statement. “We have considered these measures and concluded that they are not sufficient.”

The Nordic operator still has until December 22 to respond to these objections ahead of a final ruling in January 2015.

“We and Konkurransetilsynet make different assessments of what is good for competition and how that affects the customers,” said Robert Andersson, head of region Europe at TeliaSonera. “Now we will analyse their objections carefully and then continue the dialogue.”

If approved, the deal would create two major mobile network operators in the country – TeliaSonera and Telenor – as well as new entrant Access Industries.