“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.