2020

15.05.2020 – Sunrise Communications Group AG

Sunrise is suing Swisscom for market abuse in ADSL services and claiming damages of CHF 350 million

Press Release

Opfikon, May 15, 2020; 18:15 CET

Sunrise is suing Swisscom for market abuse in ADSL services and claiming damages of CHF 350 million

  • Swisscom has abused its dominant market position from 2001 to 2007, and unlawfully hindered the competition with its pricing policy for ADSL services. The former monopolist practiced a margin squeeze which made it impossible for Sunrise as a wholesale customer, to operate its ADSL business profitably.
  • This was confirmed by the Federal Supreme Court on December 9, 2019 after a ten-year appeal process. Swisscom was sentenced to a fine of CHF 186 million.
  • On the basis of this ruling, Sunrise is claiming damages of CHF 350 million plus interest from Swisscom.

“Swisscom has abused its dominant market position, hindered competition and damaged the market. Not least in the interests of our customers and shareholders, we are now suing for damages in court,” explains André Krause, CEO of Sunrise.

In its decision of November 5, 2009, the Competition Commission (COMCO) concluded that Swisscom had abused its dominant market position in broadband Internet access (ADSL) for years. COMCO sentenced Swisscom to a fine of around CHF 220 million, which the former monopolist appealed. The Federal Administrative Court confirmed the illegal conduct and reduced the fine to CHF 186 million, after making various corrections to the calculations of the sanction. Swisscom appealed again, before the Federal Supreme Court confirmed the ruling of the Federal Administrative Court on December 9, 2019.

Sunrise commissioned the renowned consulting company Swiss Economics to calculate the damage of Sunrise. This is due to loss of market share and prevented gain in the broadband Internet market and adjacent markets (landline and mobile communications). The total amounts to CHF 457 million, a greater number than originally assumed. As a precautionary measure to prevent limitation, Sunrise had interrupted the statute of limitation for a claim of CHF 350 million, and is filing a claim for damages of CHF 350 million plus interest with the Bern Commercial Court today.

Sunrise hopes the lawsuit can be processed quickly, however previous experience shows that Swisscom is likely to drag the case through all instances again and that it could be years before a final judgment is issued.

Sunrise Communications Group AG

Corporate Communications

media@sunrise.net

www.sunrise.ch

Phone: 0800 333 000

Outside of Switzerland: +41 58 777 76 66

SRCG / Valor 026729122


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