Switzerland’s competition commission Weko could approve the takeover of cable operator UPC by telecommunications company Sunrise, but only under conditions.
This reports Swiss business newspaper Handelszeitung, citing two independent sources after a non-public hearing in Bern.
The most likely condition is that Sunrise must open the UPC cable network to alternative fixed-line internet providers such as Salt, Green.ch or Init7, according to the report. At the end of May 2019, the competition authority already asked this question in its questionnaire on the proposed merger: “Do you expect Sunrise to offer wholesale products in the broadband internet and fixed-line telephony area following the takeover of UPC?”
Incumbent telco Swisscom and utilities companies already offer such wholesale products on their copper and fibre-optic networks. A UPC cable network open to third parties would create competition for alternative providers, which could lead to more price dynamics.
With such a move, Weko would follow the example in Germany: Vodafone was only allowed to take over Unitymedia under certain conditions. One of these was the opening of the cable network to competitor Telefónica.
Weko intends to decide on the merger plan by early October 2019.