The European Commission investigates Telia SMP claims
The European Commission has launched an in-depth investigation into claims that Telia holds significant market power (SMP) in Sweden.
According to the Swedish Telecoms Regulator Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) its analysis of the wholesale fibre access market found that Telia holds significant market power (SMP) based on its market share at national level and the gap in market share between Telia and its competitors.
However, as PTS defines its geographic market as being national despite the differences in the connections of its operators in different municipalities, and the variations of the actual reach of Telia’s fibre access network across local municipalities, the Commission believes that this definition is too broad and may have led to the incorrect findings.
As a result, the Commission is recommending a re-assessment of these findings by initiating an investigation to verify ‘the appropriateness of the market definition proposed by PTS and subsequently the corresponding SMP finding’.
In addition, the Commission also commented on PTS’ analysis of the market for local access to legacy copper networks, urging it to “strengthen its arguments on Telia’s ability to behave independently of its competitors and ultimately consumers, and to closely monitor developments on this, rapidly shrinking, market and to revisit, in the near future, the need for continuing regulation”.
The market in Sweden has reached the advanced stage of fibre deployment with its end-users increasingly demand high-speed broadband connections. While at the same time dependence of legacy copper network is declining significantly, as consumers relying on fibre-based connections.
At present, the fibre network reach of Telia differs significantly across the territory of Sweden where it competes with more than 180 local municipal fibre networks.
Working with the Body of European regulators (BEREC) the Commission now has two months to discuss the draft measure with PTS. At the end of this period the Commission may either rescind reservations or issue a veto decision under Article 7 of the Framework Directive.