DNA Oy and TeliaSonera Finland Oyj have offered the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) a commitment that they will change their network partnership concerning Eastern and Northern Finland to ensure that consumers benefit from a more efficient network.
The joint venture “Suomen Yhteisverkko Oy” established by DNA Oy and TeliaSonera Finland Oyj will build a new mobile network for Eastern and Northern Finland that will cover 50% of Finland´s total area and 15% of its population. In the future, all 2G, 3G and 4G mobile traffic will be carried by a common network in the joint venture´s operating area.
Regardless of the partnership, DNA and Sonera will continue as independent operators offering competing services to their customers throughout Finland. In addition to cost savings, the partnership will make a faster and more efficient network available to consumers in Eastern and Northern Finland when the operators combine some of their frequency resources in the area.
Competition also essential in partnerships
In April 2015, the FCCA expressed the preliminary opinion that the network partnership between DNA and Sonera would restrict competition in the mobile communications market. According to the FCCA, the network partnership would have harmonised DNA´s and Sonera´s mobile networks in Eastern and Northern Finland and reduced national network competition between the operators. Moreover, the partnership might have enabled the operators to reach a tacit understanding that they would align their competitive behaviour in a manner detrimental to consumers.
Competition between independent operators has created incentives for companies to invest in new technology and obtain a competitive edge in the market, by making higher-quality networks available to customers more quickly than competitors. Only sufficient competition will ensure that consumers benefit from the cost savings provided by a partnership, and that operators cooperating with each other retain an incentive to introduce improved mobile services enabled by a higher-quality network.
Commitment decision ensures competition and that partnership will benefit consumers
DNA and Sonera have offered the FCCA a commitment that they will offer virtual and service operators access to their national networks and rent out mast and equipment location sites to competitors. By international standards, few virtual and service operators compete in the Finnish mobile market. More competition could emerge in the future if new operators are able to offer services through DNA´s and Sonera´s networks.
DNA and Sonera have also undertaken to restrict information exchange within the sphere of the joint venture, as well as other links between the joint venture and the two operators. The operators will also be able to bring their preferred network features or additional capacity to the joint network. This will ensure that they can also offer independently competing services and products for their customers within the area of the joint network.