Monthly Archives: October 2005

TeliaSonera Launches New Mobile Subscriptions in Sweden

Scandinavian telecommunication operator TeliaSonera AB Friday said its unit in Sweden is launching four new subscriptions to private and corporate customers.


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The first new subscription that Telia is launching is Telia Mobile to Everyone. For a charge of SEK59 per month private customers can call at a rate of SEK0.59 per minute to all networks in Sweden, 24 hours a day.

The second new subscription that Telia is introducing for private customers is Telia Mobile Evenings & Weekends. For a charge of SEK29 per month, customers call at a rate of SEK0.29 per minute evenings and weekends, and at other times at SEK1.99 per minute.

Both subscriptions have an opening charge of SEK0.59 per call.

Telia is also offering two new mobile subscriptions for companies. With Telia Work Mobile Double enterprise customers pay a rate of SEK329 per month and call at no charge to 5.2 million fixed line telephone numbers in Sweden and to 4.3 million Telia mobile subscribers.

The other subscription, Telia Work Mobile Start, costs SEK99 per month and subscribers call to Telia’s mobile customers and to all fixed line telephones in Sweden at a rate of SEK0.69 per minute.

In addition, Telia has eliminated the minute rate for calls from mobile phones to all fixed networks in its small enterprise package and has also reduced the monthly charge from SEK498 to SEK399.

All of these subscriptions have an opening charge of SEK0.49 per call.

Totaltele.com

Standard & Poor’s has lowered TeliaSonera AB credit ratings to A-/A-2

On Oct. 28, 2005, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services lowered its long- and short-term corporate credit ratings to ‘A-/A-2′ from ‘A/A-1′ on TeliaSonera AB. The outlook is stable.

“We have noticed the rating action initiated by Standard & Poor’s today. No fundamental change has however occurred in the overall financial position, or strategic ambition, of TeliaSonera. Our credit metrics remain very strong, and are still among the strongest within our sector in Europe. Overall, we do not expect the Standard & Poor’s action to have any significant cost impact on TeliaSonera’s debt financing”, says Kim Ignatius, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of TeliaSonera.

N.B. See below the related press release from Standard & Poor’s.

Sweden’s TeliaSonera AB Ratings Lowered To ‘A-/A-2′ On Weaker Business Profile; Outlook Stable Contacts
Primary Credit Analyst: Patrice Cochelin, Paris (33) 1-4420-7325; Secondary Credit Analyst: Leandro De Torres Zabala, London (44) 20-7176-3821(44) 20-7176-3821;

Rationale On Oct. 28, 2005, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services lowered its long- and short-term corporate credit ratings to ‘A-/A-2′ from ‘A/A-1′ on the largest Nordic telecommunications operator, TeliaSonera AB. The outlook is stable.

The downgrade reflects TeliaSonera’s continued struggle against
difficult conditions in its core Swedish and Finnish markets, despite some signs of stabilization in the past quarter. Although TeliaSonera’s balance sheet remains a source of rating support, fierce competition in mobile telephony in Finland, and to a lesser degree in Sweden, has weakened the company’s business profile. The ratings continue to reflect TeliaSonera’s strong positions in its core Nordic and Baltic markets, and the company’s conservative financial profile.

At Sept. 30, 2005, TeliaSonera had on-balance-sheet debt of Swedish krona (Skr) 26.8 billion ($3.4 billion).

For the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2005, Finland’s share of total EBITDA fell to 14%, from 23% one year earlier. In the company’s cash-generative Swedish fixed-line business, which represents 36% of total EBITDA, third-quarter 2005 profits dropped 6% year-on-year, on continued stiff competition, increased activity in fixed-to-mobile substitution, and Voice over Internet Protocol development. TeliaSonera is still performing well in Denmark, however, essentially on the back of the Orange Denmark acquisition at year-end 2004. Similarly, the company’s
operations in the Baltic region are benefiting from the consolidation of Estonia’s No. 1 mobile provider EMT.

Ongoing very strong free cash flow generation–a critical support for the ratings–represented 18% of revenues in the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2005.

TeliaSonera’s sound capitalization also continues to support the
ratings, as debt, net of excess cash and adjusted for operating leases and after-tax pension underfunding, was just 0.6x EBITDA before one-off items.

The company’s shareholder return policies include a 30%-50% payout ratio and the continuation of a Skr30 billion additional return program, of which Skr10 billion has already been executed. Another Skr10 billion is to be proposed at the next Annual General Meeting in April 2006.

Short-term credit factors Our ‘A-2′ short-term credit rating reflects TeliaSonera’s strong internal liquidity, good cash flow capacity and visibility, and significant access to capital markets.
At June 30, 2005, TeliaSonera’s liquidity was supported by:
· Available cash and short-term investments of Skr17 billion, of which Skr1 billion is blocked to guarantee payments in Italy;
· Expected continued strong free cash flow; and
· Undrawn committed bank credit facilities of about Skr10 billion.
The main near-term cash requirements–short-term debt of Skr6.2 billion and the exceptional Skr10 billion dividend payment to be proposed are therefore easily manageable.

Outlook
The stable outlook reflects Standard & Poor’s expectations that
TeliaSonera will successfully address challenging Nordic market
conditions, at least stabilizing its revenue and profitability in its
core Nordic markets, and fund possible small to midsize acquisitions while preserving conservative financial leverage. Notably, we expect net adjusted debt to remain at or below 2x EBITDA, excluding contributions from the company’s risky and not fully controlled central Asian operations.

A significant and unexpected increase in leverage, particularly beyond our leverage target of 2x, or further deterioration in operating performance in the core Nordic markets could cause downward pressure the ratings. We do not, at present, foresee near-term credit upside given the trading environment in Finland and Sweden.

Ratings List

To From
TeliaSonera AB
Corporate credit rating A-/Stable/A-2 A/Negative/A-1
Commercial paper A-1 A-2

TeliaSonera Finland Oyj
Corporate credit rating A/Negative/A-1 A-/Stable/A-2

NB: This list does not include all ratings affected.

Forward-Looking Statements
Statements made in the press release relating to future status or circumstances, including future performance and other trend projections are forward-looking statements. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in the future. There can be no assurance that actual results will not differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements due to many factors, many of which are outside the control of TeliaSonera.

____________________________________________
For further information journalists can contact:
TeliaSonera’s Press Office, +46-(0)8-713 58 30+46-(0)8-713 58 30

TeliaSonera is the leading telecommunications company in the Nordic and Baltic regions. At the end of December 2004 TeliaSonera had 15,411,000 mobile customers (51,359,000 incl associated companies) and 8,312,000 fixed telephony customers (8,943,000 incl associated companies) and 2,017,000 internet customers (2,056,000 incl associated companies). Outside the home markets TeliaSonera has extensive interests in the
growth markets in Russia, Turkey and Eurasia. TeliaSonera is listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange and the Helsinki Stock Exchange. Net sales January-December 2004 amounted to SEK 81.9 billion (EUR 9.08 billion). The number of employees was 29,082.

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“Lietuvos telekomas” neatsisako planų pirkti “Microlink Lietuvą”

Didžiausia Lietuvoje interneto tiekėja – bendrovė “Lietuvos telekomas” neatsisako planų pirkti “Microlink Lietuvą”. “Microlink” grupės įmones Lietuvoje įsigyti siekiantį “Lietuvos telekomą” po jų įsigijimo parduoti pagrindinę bendrovė “Microlink Lietuvą” ketvirtadienį įpareigojo Konkurencijos taryba.

“Lietuvos telekomas” taip pat žada artimiausiu metu svarstyti galimybę apskųsti šį Konkurencijos tarybos sprendimą teismui.

“Mes manome, kad Konkurencijos tarybos priimtas sprendimas nevisiškai atitinka pagrindinį keliamą tikslą – efektyviai reguliuoti konkurenciją Lietuvos telekomunikacijų ir informacinių technologijų rinkoje”, – teigė “Lietuvos telekomo” generalinis direktorius Arūnas Šikšta.

Pasak jo, Latvijos ir Estijos konkurencijos tarybos priėmė investuotojus tenkinantį sprendimą, nors tų šalių “Microlink” bendrovių įtaka rinkoms yra kelis kartus didesnė nei Lietuvoje. “Ši aplinkybė verčia manyti, kad priimtas sprendimas gali būti neskaidrus, stokojantis verslo logikos bei įsigilinimo į vietinę telekomunikacijų ir technologijų rinką”, – sakė A.Šikšta.

Latvijos ir Estijos konkurencijos tarybos įpareigojo “Microlink” grupės įmones šiose šalyse perkantiems vietiniams telekomams atskirti duomenų perdavimo ir interneto veiklos sritis, bet nenurodė iš karto parduoti visos ir šia veikla užsiimančios įmonės. “Microlink Lietuva”, be duomenų perdavimo ir interneto paslaugų teikimo, dirba kitose veiklos srityse.

“Lietuvos telekomas” pranešime spaudai žada dėti visas pastangas, kad “Microlink Lietuvos” veikla nesusilpnėtų ir klientai bei darbuotojai nepajustų pokyčių.

Konkurencijos taryba sprendimą įpareigoti telekomą parduoti perkamą konkurentę priėmė ketvirtadienį. Tada taryba nagrinėjo “TeliaSonera” priklausančios Estijos “Eesti Telekom” antrinės įmonės “Elion” prašymą įsigyti “Microlink” grupę.

Įgyvendinus šį sandorį, “TeliaSonera” valdomas “Lietuvos telekomas” turėjo įsigyti “Microlink” antrines įmones Lietuvoje – “Microlink Lietuvą”, “Baltijos kompiuterių akademiją” bei “Fortek informacines technologijas”.

“Lietuvos telekomas” gegužės 16 dieną pasirašė ateities akcijų įsigijimo sutartį su “Elion” ir Latvijos operatoriumi “Lattelekom”, pagal kurią gavo opciono teisę per du mėnesius po to, kai “Elion” įsigis “Microlink”, perpirkti šios grupės įmones Lietuvoje.

Didelius pinigų srautus generuojantis “Lietuvos telekomas” 2004 metais gavo 32,19 mln. litų grynojo pelno. Bendrovės pajamos pernai siekė 721,039 mln. litų – 11 proc. mažiau nei 2003-iaisiais.

2004 metų gruodžio pabaigoje Skandinavijos ryšių bendrovė “TeliaSonera” valdė 60 proc. “Lietuvos telekomo” akcijų, dar 4,67 proc. priklausė pačiai bendrovei, o 4,56 proc. – valstybei.

“Microlink” 2003-2004 finansinių metų konsoliduoti pardavimai siekė 180,9 mln. litų, o neaudituotas pelnas viršijo 77,3 mln. litų.

“Microlink” Latvijoje pirmąjį 2004-2005 finansinių metų pusmetį gavo 28 mln. litų, Estijoje – 18,2 mln. litų, Lietuvoje – 9 mln. litų pajamų.

ELTA

TeliaSonera charged with market abuse

Swedish authorities have charged TeliaSonera AB mobile phone operator with abusing its dominant market position.

The Swedish Competition Authority said TeliaSonera has “selectively applied more favorable conditions to private customers who had canceled their fixed line subscription and changed to a competitor to TeliaSonera,” The Local reported Friday.

The agency is seeking a penalty of $5.57 million from the company, the largest cell phone operator in Sweden and Finland and the second-largest in Norway.

www.newsdaily.com
Copyright 2005 by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

TeliaSonera sued by Swedish competition authority

Sweden’s competition authority, Konkurrensverket, said Friday it was suing TeliaSonera, the Nordic region’s largest telecommunications operator, for “abusing its dominant market position”.

“Konkurrensverket demands in a suit filed in the Stockholm district court that TeliaSonera pay 44 million kronor (5.6 million dollars, 4.6 million euros) in fines for breaking the competition law,” the agency said in a statement.

The Nordic telephone giant is being accused of trying to win back non-corporate customers who had cancelled their fixed-line subscription by offering them special deals to renew their contract, without extending the offer to its other customers.

“TeliaSonera’s sales methods go against market competition for fixed lines, something that is not beneficial to consumers in the long run. The company is guilty of a serious breach of the competition law due to its abuse of its dominant position,” Konkurrensverket general director Claes Norgren said in the statement.

The company meanwhile insisted that its special deals to former customers actually helps enable competition.

“We are not of the same opinion as Konkurrensverket. We feel we have removed obstacles to free competition,” TeliaSonera head of marketing Jan Sjoeberg told AFP.

“We’re making it easier for customers who want to test out Internet protocol (IP) telephony with our competitors, but who may change their minds and come back to us,” he added.

Former customers who decide to return to TeliaSonera within a three-month period are only required to pay 160 kronor instead of the standard setup fee of 675 kronor.

“This is because we still have all of their information available and the hook-up is still there,” Sjoeberg said.

This is the second time the agency has sued TeliaSonera in just over a year. In 2004, the telecom company was sued for 144 million kronor for “abusing its dominant position in the broadband market”.

That suit has yet to go to trial.

Meanwhile, the Standard and Poor’s rating agency said Friday it had slashed TeliaSonera’s credit rating from A/A-1 to A-/A-2 with a “stable outlook”.

“The downgrade reflects TeliaSonera’s continued struggle against difficult conditions in its core Swedish and Finnish markets, despite some signs of stabilization in the past quarter,” Standard and Poor’s said.

AFP

Swedish Competition Authority sues TeliaSonera for SEK 44 million

 

TeliaSonera is alleged by the Swedish Competition Authority to have selectively offered more favourable terms to private customers who have cancelled their fixed-line telecom subscriptions and switched to a competitor. By doing so, says the agency, the company has abused its dominant market position, which is prohibited under the Swedish Competition Act.

The Swedish Competition Authority has applied for a summons against
TeliaSonera, calling for the telecom company to be fined SEK 44 million for infringing the Competition Act.

According to the agency, TeliaSonera has selectively offered more favourable terms for fixed-line telecom subscriptions or connections to private customers who left and switched to a rival operator’s network. The aim was to attract these customers back to TeliaSonera’s fixed-line telecom network by offering them better terms than the company offered its other customers.

Under the Swedish competition rules, dominant companies may not abuse their market power in such a way. The infringement occurred in 2003 and 2004. Other operators have begun offering consumers fixed-line connections via other networks instead of TeliaSonera’s traditional telecom network. Here, broadband networks and cable TV networks may develop into interesting alternatives. TeliaSonera’s sales methods hinder competition in the market for fixed-line telecom connections, which adversely affects consumers in the longer term.

“The company has seriously infringed the Competition Act by abusing its dominant position in this way,” says Director-General Claes Norgren, commenting on the case.

Last autumn the Competition Authority applied for TeliaSonera to be fined on the grounds that it had abused its dominant position in the broadband market (ADSL). On that occasion, the agency called for an administrative fine of SEK 144 million. The case is still pending in court.

For more information, please contact:
Marie Ulfvensjö, Senior Adviser, tel +46 8 700 16 54+46 8 700 16 54
Jimmy Dominius, Press Officer, tel +46 8 700 15 80+46 8 700 15 80 or +46 73 773 15 80+46 73 773 15 80

Swedish Competition Authority
www.kkv.se

TeliaSonera sued by Swedish competition authority for abuse of market position

The Swedish competition authority, Konkurrensverket, said it has sued TeliaSonera AB for 44 mln skr for abusing its market position by trying to selectively win back private customers who had cancelled their fixed line contract with the company.

After they had switched to a competitor, TeliaSonera offered them special deals to renew their subscription but did not extend this offer to all customers.

‘In this way TeliaSonera has abused its dominant position in the market, which is forbidden according to the competition rules,’ the regulator said.

Konkurrensverket wants TeliaSonera to pay 44 mln skr in fines for breaching the rules.

stockholm@afxnews.com

Swedish Regulators Sues TeliaSonera

Swedish regulators on Friday filed a 44 million kronor (US$5.6 million, euro4.6 million) lawsuit against TeliaSonera AB, saying the Nordic region’s largest telecommunications operator has abused its dominant position on the Swedish market.

According to the Swedish Competition Authority, TeliaSonera has violated competition laws by selectively offering cheaper rates to lure back fixed-line telephony customers who left the company for one of its competitors.

The agency asked a municipal Stockholm court to fine the company a 44 million kronor (US$5.6 million, euro4.6 million) for the violation, which allegedly took place in 2003 and 2004.

The agency functions as a watchdog that makes sure Swedish companies follow the country’s competition laws. However, only Swedish courts can rule on whether a company has broken any laws.

TeliaSonera did not immediately comment on the lawsuit.

Last fall, the Swedish Competition Authority also sued TeliaSonera for 144 million kronor (US$21.5 million, euro16 million) for allegedly misusing its monopoly on Swedish land lines to get an unfair edge on the broadband market. That lawsuit has yet to be ruled on.

forbes.com

TeliaSonera ratings cut to A-/A-2 at S&P; outlook stable

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said it has lowered its long- and short-term corporate credit ratings to A-/A-2 from A/A-1 on TeliaSonera AB.

The outlook is stable.

‘The downgrade reflects TeliaSonera’s continued struggle against difficult conditions in its core Swedish and Finnish markets, despite some signs of stabilization in the past quarter,’ said Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Patrice Cochelin.

‘Although TeliaSonera’s balance sheet remains a source of rating support, fierce competition in mobile telephony in Finland, and to a lesser degree in Sweden, has weakened the company’s business profile.’

S&P sad it expects the company’s net adjusted debt to remain at or below two times EBITDA, excluding contributions from the company’s risky and not fully controlled central Asian operations.

It warned that a significant and unexpected increase in leverage, particularly beyond our leverage target of two times EBITDA, or further deterioration in operating performance in the core Nordic markets could cause downward pressure the ratings.

‘We do not, at present, foresee near-term credit upside given the trading environment in Finland and Sweden,’ S&P added.

forbes.com

“Lietuvos telekomas” įpareigotas parduoti UAB “MicroLink Lietuva”

Konkurencijos taryba posėdyje išnagrinėjo vienos didžiausių telekomunikacijų ir informacinių technologijų paslaugų teikėjos Estijoje Elion Ettevõtted AS 2005 m. birželio 23 d. pateiktą pranešimą apie koncentraciją įsigyjant 100 proc. MicroLink AS akcijų. Lietuvoje įgyvendinus minėtą sandorį AB „Lietuvos telekomas“ įsigis MicroLink AS dukterines įmones Lietuvoje. Priimtas nutarimas leisti vykdyti šią koncentraciją pagal pateiktą pranešimą nustačius įpareigojimus ir koncentracijos vykdymo sąlygas.

Elion Ettevõtted AS priklauso grupei įmonių, kontroliuojamų TeliaSonera AB, kuriai priklauso kelios Lietuvos įmonės. Todėl, priimdama nutarimą dėl leidimo vykdyti minimą koncentraciją, Konkurencijos taryba atsižvelgė į aplinkybes, kurios turės įtakos informacinių technologijų ir telekomunikacijų sektoriams. Konkurencijos taryba nagrinėjamą koncentraciją įvertino kaip vertikalią ir horizontalią mažmeninėje plačiajuosčio ryšio prieigos rinkoje Lietuvoje. Atsižvelgus į tai, kad AB „Lietuvos telekomas“, kurios 60 proc. akcijų per savo dukterinę įmonę valdo TeliaSonera AB, yra vienintelis didmeninės plačiajuosčio ryšio prieigos tiekėjas Lietuvoje ir turi gerai išplėtotą fiksuoto telefono tinklą ir infrastruktūrą, kurie apima visą Lietuvos teritoriją, be to, dominuoja skirtųjų linijų paslaugų rinkoje, plėtoja alternatyvias interneto prieigos ir duomenų perdavimo technologijas bei turi kitų pranašumų, konstatuota, kad po koncentracijos įsigijusi konkurentę AB „Lietuvos telekomas“ sustiprins savo padėtį rinkoje. Nors UAB „MicroLink Lietuva“ neužima reikšmingos rinkos dalies, bet yra viena didžiausių bendrovių, teikiančių interneto ir duomenų perdavimo paslaugas. Po koncentracijos AB „Lietuvos telekomas“ kartu su susijusiais ūkio subjektais dėl sustiprėjusios padėties rinkoje galėtų apriboti konkurenciją atitinkamoje mažmeninėje plačiajuosčio ryšio prieigos rinkoje Lietuvoje. Tuo tarpu konkurentų galimybės padidinti savo dalį rinkoje yra kur kas mažesnės, kadangi jų valdomi tinklai turi mažesnę skvarbą.

Vadovaudamasi Konkurencijos įstatymo nuostatomis, Konkurencijos taryba, leisdama Elion Ettevõtted AS vykdyti koncentraciją įsigyjant 100 proc. MicroLink AS akcijų, įpareigojo AB „Lietuvos telekomas“ parduoti UAB „MicroLink Lietuva“ per nustatytą laikotarpį ūkio subjektui, nesusijusiam su Elion Ettevõtted AS, AB „Lietuvos telekomas“, MicroLink AS. Pardavimo terminas yra konfidencialus.

Tam, kad būtų išlaikytas parduodamos įmonės įvaizdis, konkurencingumas, turimi prekės ženklai, kitos įgytos teisės, numatyta sąlyga – užtikrinti sudarytų sutarčių su verslo partneriais ir klientais tęstinumą. Pardavimo laikotarpiu AB „Lietuvos telekomas“ įpareigota laikytis nediskriminavimo sąlygų teikiant didmenines plačiajuosčio ryšio prieigos paslaugas visiems šių paslaugų gavėjams. Apie bendrovės „MicroLink Lietuva“ pardavimo veiksmus ir eigą turės būti nuolat informuojama Konkurencijos taryba tam, kad ji galėtų laiku įvertinti potencialias pirkėjo galimybes sėkmingai konkuruoti Lietuvos mažmeninėje plačiajuosčio ryšio prieigos rinkoje ir pritarti pasirinkto pirkėjo kandidatūrai.

Konkurencijos tarybos atstovė spaudai

Palmira Kvietkauskienė ( tel. 279 11 74)

Lietuvos Respublikos konkurencijos taryba
Tel.: 2791174
kviet@konkuren.lt