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Orange and Sunrise abandon merger

Telecommunications companies Orange and Sunrise have dropped plans to merge, following a ban by Switzerland’s competition commission.

This content was published on June 3, 2010 - 18:32

In statements on Thursday evening, both parent groups - France Télécom and TDC - said they had looked at their options following the block in April and had decided to give up plans to merge.

The competition commission argued that the company resulting from the deal would have a dominant position in the mobile telephone market alongside rival Swisscom.

On May 20 the two telecoms companies challenged this decision and filed an appeal with the federal administrative court, prompting the Swiss foundation for consumer protection to describe Orange and Sunrise as stubborn for failing to consider the welfare of consumers.

Swisscom’s history goes back to 1852, when the first public telegraph service opened between St Gallen and Zurich.

With 55.2 per cent of Swisscom's share capital, the Swiss government has a majority holding in Swisscom.

Sunrise, formerly known as Newtelco, came onto the Swiss market in 1996. It belongs to the Danish telecoms operator TDC.

Orange Switzerland, which belongs to France Télécom, followed suit in 1999.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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