If the advertising that accompanies your Swisscom bill annoys you - you're not alone. An official investigation of the practise has now been ordered.This content was published on December 6, 2001 - 11:12
The Swiss Competition Commission (Comco) aims through the investigation to establish if the partially privatised, one-time telecom monopoly has violated competition law by attaching to its monthly line rental bills its own, targeted publicity.
The opening of the investigation follows a complaint from rival telecom operator, Tele2, which first raised its objections to the publicity stuffed bills back in August, said Comco in a statement on Thursday.
Tele2 has accused Swisscom, still the country's largest telecommunications operator, of illicit behaviour considering its dominant market position.
Customers in Switzerland are free to choose from a number of companies when making phone calls from home.
"Blue Giant" fees
However, even customers who do not use Swisscom as their main telecom provider still have to pay the "Blue Giant" a monthly fee for their phone line (approximately SFr25), with the company maintaining its dominant position in this area of the market.
It seems that bills for Swisscom's line rental service have been accompanied regularly by advertising for other services offered by Swisscom.
According to Comco, Swisscom it trying through this practise to regain customers who chose another operator. It also estimated that for other players in the telecom sector a similar campaign would be very expensive.
Comco added that it believes Swisscom is using its monopoly position in the telephone line rental market to praise its own merits at a relatively low cost.
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