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Mobile phone competition inquiry launched

Is she paying too much for her call?

(Keystone)

The competition commission is investigating Switzerland's three mobile phone operators on suspicion that they have illegally fixed prices.

The competition commission is investigating Switzerland's three mobile phone operators on suspicion that they have illegally fixed prices.

The commission said the inquiry into Swisscom, Diax and Orange would look at whether their very similar prices and pricing structures were acceptable.

In a statement, it said that the situation was unsatisfactory for the customer and that the companies may be exploiting their dominant position on the market.

The commission highlighted the discrepancy between the strong competition in the fixed-line telecommunications sector, and the lack of change in the mobile sector.

The telecommunications branch was liberalised in January 1998, and two new mobile phone licences were issued to Diax and Orange, to compete with the former monopoly, Swisscom.

Besides the investigation into the mobile phone sector, the competition commission said it was also opening an inquiry into suspected illegal accords in the health insurance market.

The inquiry focuses on insurers in canton Aargau, which a preliminary investigation found to have made illegal agreements to fix premiums for specialised insurance.

swissinfo with agencies

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