The Swiss Competition Commission (WEKO) has approved the purchase of Sunrise, Switzerland’s leading mobile operator, by UPC (Liberty Global), its leading cable operator, to create the second largest telecommunications company in Switzerland. WEKO approved the decision without any conditions on the basis that ‘there is no threat of eliminating effective competition’.
This decision follows earlier analysis of the merger by WEKO, in September 2019, when Sunrise had planned to take over UPC. WEKO approved the acquisition following an in-depth examination of the market conditions. At the time, WEKO concluded that the merger would be beneficial to consumers by providing an integrated telecoms provider. However, that deal was subsequently rejected by Sunrise’s shareholders. In its latest announcement, WEKO states that the ‘market conditions remain largely unchanged’ following a re-examination.
Oxera provided economic support to Liberty Global on this filing, as well as the original filing in 2019, preparing a detailed market assessment for the notification and responding to questions from WEKO.
Oxera worked alongside Liberty Global’s in-house Regulation and Competition Policy team (Rebecca Larsen, Michael Bryan-Brown, Cerry Darbon and Manuel Kohnstamm), Homburger (Franz Hoffet and Richard Staueber) and Boerer Law (Juerg Boerer).