At the same time, it has, along with Magyar Telekom, found itself the subject of an investigation in Hungary on suspicion of collusion in connection with a broadband frequency tender.
In a statement, Telenor says that with a view to creating shareholder value, it has engaged in a process to evaluate the inbound and unsolicited interest it is has received for its mobile operations, which are located in Hungary, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Serbia. It expects to conduct these assessments in Q1 this year and they will not impact on its operations, customers or employees.
Telenor also notes that its CEE companies have strong market positions and solid financial results, contributing around 9% towards its group revenues and 8% of EBITDA before other items in 2017.
As reported by Broadband TV News earlier this month, Telenor has been preparing to sell its assets in Bulgaria, and possibly Serbia, Montenegro and Hungary, to a US fund in a deal that could be worth up to €2 billion.
Meanwhile, Hungary’s Competition Office (GVH) says it conducted unannounced on-site probes late last week at the headquarters of Magyar Telekom and Telekom Hungary. The two companies are suspected of colluding in a tender for broadband spectrum licences, announced by the regulator NMHH, in 2014. According to the GVH, such conduct would be in breach of competition law and related EU provisions pertaining to the prohibition of agreements that restrict competition.
The GVH has six months in which to complete its investigation, but may extend this deadline twice by another six months each time.
Magyar Telekom and Telenor Hungary have each issued statements saying that they are cooperating with the GVH. They also insist they have not violated any rules.