Sunrise said it will be suing rival telecoms Swisscom for market abuse in ADSL business — claiming damages of CHF 350 million or $360 million.
Swisscom has allegedly 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.
Federal Supreme Court on December 9, 2019 sentenced Swisscom to a fine of CHF 186 million — after a ten-year appeal process.
Sunrise is claiming damages of CHF 350 million plus interest from Swisscom. Swisscom was not available for comment.
“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,” said Andre 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 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 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 such as landline and mobile communications.