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Price watchdog calls on Swisscom to lower charges

Werner Marti has called on Swisscom to lower its charges Keystone

Switzerland's price supervisor, Werner Marti, has called on Swisscom to lower the tariffs it charges in broadband technology.

This content was published on January 21, 2002 - 15:40

Marti told the weekly "Schweizer Illustrierte" magazine that he expected the government to demand the management of Switzerland's largest telecommunications operator to lower its charges.

Broadband technology is used in particular for high-speed access to the Internet. Swisscom does not supply the technology to the general public but to Internet service providers.

In the interview, published on Monday, Marti questions whether the strong financial situation of Swisscom is not as a result of over pricing.

Swisscom, in which the government has a 65.5 per cent stake, doubled its net profit to SFr5.75 billion ($3.46 billion) in the first nine months of 2001 compared with the same period in the previous year.

Company spokeswoman Pia Rogers told swissinfo that the prices for broadband technology had dropped several times in the last few years.

Prices defended

"We think we have fair prices if you compare them with the prices charged in other countries," she said.

Rogers admitted that net income for the first three quarters had been very high but explained that this was due to exceptional circumstances.

"You have to bear in mind the sale of 25 per cent of our mobile division to Vodafone and the sale of part of our real estate," she said.

Euro to increase price competition

In remarks about the introduction of the European single currency, Marti commented that he believed the euro would increase price competition in Switzerland.

He said it was hard to understand why the Swiss had to pay more than in neighbouring countries for the same goods.

"I am convinced that the eurozone will promote competition in Switzerland because transparency will be increased," he commented.

swissinfo with agencies

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