3 April 2003
The FCA has granted a conditional exemption to Nettiportti Oy, a subsidiary owned by the local telecom company Finnet Oy, for the pricing co-operation between Nettiportti’s stakeholder companies in the Internet service market and for purchasing co-operation of network capacity. The exemption is valid for five years.
It was imposed as a condition of the co-operation that, as local network operators, all stakeholder com-panies of Nettiportti shall offer network products in the wholesaling markets of broadband Internet ser-vices at such prices and on such terms that they are not discriminatory or exclusionary of customers. The companies shall also maintain a public price list. Competing operators shall have the right to enter the market by leasing networks and to compete with the stakeholder companies of Nettiportti in their traditional operating areas.
The condition of the exemption is related to an ongoing project at the FCA, the intent of which is to re-move competition restraints from the broadband Internet service market. The condition aims at an equal treatment of service operators and workable competition between the operators in the long run. The FCA shall monitor adherence to the condition in the future and the wholesaling market more generally. A problem for the consumers has been the extreme degree of concentration in the supply of broadband Internet services, which severely decreases the possibility to choose the service provider.
Under the Competition Act, granting an exemption is only possible if the co-operation promotes eco-nomic progress and if the benefits primarily accrue to the customers or consumers. In the long run, the FCA finds that only workable competition shall secure the channelling of the efficiency benefits obtained from the Nettiportti co-operation to the consumers in the manner required by the law.
The exemption decision now given shall not affect the investigations on the alleged abuse of dominant position by the Nettiportti companies or the related potential proposals on infringement fines.