Swisscom: less regulation, more competition

Having seen the Swiss telecoms regulator block the planned merger of its two mobile operator rivals, Swisscom has said it would rather have more competition than more regulation.

According to Carsten Schloter, CEO of Swisscom, more competition would strengthen his company which has over 60 per cent of the mobile telecoms market in Switzerland. "The only growth sector in the market is data traffic, and our competitors are not very profitable today. So, we want to see this merger go ahead."

France Telecom and TDC (which operates under the Sunrise brand) are appealing against an April decision by Swiss competition authorities to block the planned merger. The authorities said the merger would undermine market dynamics in the country's mobile phone market and hurt consumer interests.

The planned merger, agreed to late last year, would have seen France Telecom pay around €1.5 billion to TDC in exchange for a 75 per cent stake in the newly created entity.

Separately, Liberty Global and the Swiss cable network operator Cablecom are negotiating with Swisscom, Orange Switzerland and Sunrise about an MVNO agreement. The CEO of Cablecom said that the current reseller agreement with Sunrise was no longer adequate and that the operators wanted to have their own mobile tariffs and bundled offerings including TV and mobile broadband.

Interestingly, all Swiss mobile operators reported negative ARPU growth rates (YoY) over the past 16 quarters.

For more on this story:
- read Total Telecom, Trading Markets & Zeit Online

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