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Swisscom appeals against SFr333 million fine

Switzerland's largest communications provider, Swisscom, has been fined SFr333 million ($308 million) by the Federal Competition Commission.

The Bern-based company - a former monopoly which is still majority-owned by the government - allegedly abused the pricing of broadband services, engaging in anti-competitive behaviour and contravening competition law, said the commission.

Swisscom rejected the allegations and regarded the fine as unjustified.

In a statement on Thursday, it said that since the legality of fines of this nature was unclear and a ruling by the Federal Administrative Court on the issue was expected shortly, "Swisscom has therefore deemed it necessary to contest this ruling".

The Competition Commission judged that Swisscom occupied a market-dominant position in the broadband market and that until the end of 2007 the prices it charged for broadband connectivity services (BBCS) were too high.

It accused Swisscom of having too low a margin between the price of its BBCS services and end-customer prices for DSL (digital subscriber line) broadband offerings, thereby preventing competitors from operating their DSL business profitably.

Swisscom said it had also filed an objection with the Federal Administrative Court. The company puts its chances in the appeal procedure as intact and was not therefore setting aside any provisions.

In March Swisscom said its yearly revenues had risen ten per cent to SFr12.19 billion. Net income fell 15.5 per cent to SFr1.75 billion.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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