Swisscom loses against Sunrise in the Federal Administrative Court
A final verdict was reached today in the network dispute between Sunrise and Swisscom. Swisscom’s complaint to the Federal Administrative Court was dismissed and it had to compensate its competitor.
Swisscom’s appeal to the Federal Administrative Court in St.Gallen fails.
After losing the network dispute against Sunrise at the end of November, Swisscom suffered another legal defeat. The Federal Administrative Court ruled in favor of Sunrise in the dispute over interest payments.
The second-largest Swiss telecom group had objected to the method by which Swisscom paid interest on claims for excessive prices for access to the Swisscom copper network. Swisscom wanted to pay interest on the reclaims based on a reference rate, namely the 12-month Swiss franc Libor rate, plus a surcharge of 1.3 percent.
Sunrise paid too much for years
This interest rate model was used for years until Sunrise called for a new interest rate regulation in April 2019, which is based on the weighted average cost of capital (WACC). Because the interest on reclaims based on the Libor reference interest rate has meant that due to the negative interest rates in recent years, reclaims have practically not received any interest, Sunrise argued.
Because the two telecom companies could not come to an agreement, Sunrise came to the Federal Communications Commission (Comcom). The regulator of the telecom industry ruled in favor of Sunrise. Swisscom took the case to the Federal Administrative Court.
This dismissed Swisscom’s complaint, as can be seen from the judgment published on Wednesday: “In summary, the lower court exercised its discretion correctly by relying on the WACC of the industry.”
According to the Federal Administrative Court, this judgment cannot be appealed to the Federal Supreme Court either. So it is final.
The exact amount is still open
In a statement, the winner Sunrise was satisfied with the verdict: With interest based on the weighted average cost of capital in the telecommunications industry, Sunrise is being compensated for the fact that the money could not initially be invested elsewhere due to Swisscom prices being too high. At the same time, the WACC interest rate is intended to prevent Swisscom from charging too high access prices and thereby depriving Sunrise of money for a while.
Sunrise did not want to disclose the sums involved. Swisscom also did not name any amounts. A company spokeswoman said that Swisscom regretted the judgment of the Federal Administrative Court and would adjust the contracts accordingly to the new interest rate regulation. (SDA/shq)