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OSLO, June 30 (Reuters) - A European watchdog on Tuesday said it had fined telecoms company Telenor 112 million euros for anticompetitive practices in Norway between 2008 and 2012.
Telenor abused its market dominance by using a pricing strategy that resulted in rivals making a loss when selling residential mobile broadband services on tablets and laptops in that period, the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) said.
ESA is a monitoring body that ensures Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, which are not members of the European Union but are part of the European Economic Area, respect the rules of the European common market. “These ‘margin squeeze’ practices prevented rival companies from competing viably from 2008 to the end of 2012 in what was an evolving and fast-growing market at the time,” ESA said in a statement.
“As a dominant player in the Norwegian telecoms market, Telenor has a special responsibility to ensure that its pricing practices do not impede competition.”
Telenor said it would appeal the decision.
“We are very surprised by the decision and the size of the fine,” Petter-Boerre Furberg, Telenor’s Norway chief, said in a statement.
ESA said the decision could open the way for civil action suits in national courts.
Shares in Telenor were flat at 0754 GMT while the European telecoms index was down 0.32%. (Reporting by Gwladys Fouche and Nerijus Adomaitis; editing by Jason Neely)