France Telecom and Danish TDC give up Swiss merger
France Telecom's Orange and Danish group TDC's Swiss offshoot Sunrise have abandoned plans to merge their telecoms businesses in Switzerland, the French group said on Thursday.
The move followed a veto by the Swiss Competition Commission (COMCO) in April on the grounds that a merged company would have taken a dominant position in the mobile telephone market alongside top Swiss telecoms provider Swisscom, leaving the country with just two networks.
France Telecom said in a statement that the two companies had "carried out a detailed analysis of the possible options and decided to end their agreement."
They also decided to drop a legal appeal filed on May 20 against the anti-trust authority's decision.
However each company stated that it would continue to invest in operations in the country. Sunrise in particular is a big rival to Swisscom in fixed line and Internet markets in Switzerland as well.
France Telecom and TDC had announced the planned 1.5 billion euro merger on November 2009.
The French giant would have initially held a 75 percent stake in the new operator, with an option to subsequently take over the rest.
© 2010 AFP