A merger of Orange and Sunrise Communications in Switzerland has today been blocked by the country’s competition authorities, who feared the move would result in a raw deal for consumers.
ComCo, the Swiss competition commission, said the merged company would have a dominant position in the country, and suggested it would use that to collude with current incumbent Swisscom to keep prices artificially high, according to Reuters.
"These two companies would have been in a collective dominant position which risked eliminating effective competition,” the competition commission told Reuters.
Orange parent France Telecom argued that blocking the deal would stifle competition, by slowing network development and leaving incumbent cellco Swisscom in a dominant position.
A statement from the firm said it had identified several synergies with Sunrise that would have enabled the merged operation to “offer more attractive prices and innovative products and services.”
The merger would also have improved access to global networks, it said.
TDC, which operates Sunrise, said it would discuss potential next moves with France Telecom.