EU clears merger between Telia and Sonera

The European Commission today announces the approval of the merger between Swedish and Finnish telecommunications companies Telia and Sonera. The approval is based on the following commitments agreed by Telia and Sonera:
- Telia has committed to sell the mobile operations, dealership chain and wireless LAN business in Finland. In addition, the combined company has agreed to provide to the purchaser of its mobile operations in Finland national roaming on commercial terms and at a fair price if the purchaser does not already have a nationwide GSM network in Finland.
- Telia has committed to sell its comhem AB cable business and related network in Sweden.
- The combined company has committed to ensure that its fixed and mobile network businesses in Sweden and Finland are held in separate legal entities, which are distinct from related retail activities. The network companies' boards of directors will include an external director appointed according to corporate law. This commitment can be revised after five years.
- The combined company has committed to make available to telecommunications operators in Sweden and Finland its regulated wholesale fixed and mobile network products and international GSM roaming in Sweden and Finland on a non-discriminatory basis compared to the terms on which they are offered internally within the combined company. Pertaining to the roaming product, Telia-Sonera will have the right to require reciprocity in respect of prices, quality and other conditions. This obligation to provide services on a non-discriminatory basis is in force for a period of three years and will be subject to a fast-track dispute resolution procedure by arbitration.
The Swedish fixed (Skanova) and the Finnish mobile networks are already today operated separately. The Finnish fixed network is currently operated in a subsidiary (Sonera Carrier Network Ltd.).
Telia's President and CEO Anders Igel and Sonera's President and CEO Harri Koponen jointly comment:
"We are of course delighted about getting such a fast approval of the merger between the two companies. This will give us the opportunity to efficiently continue the merger process. The commitments made are reasonable, and the clearance from the Commission is a significant step in the creation of a competitive and strong telecommunications company."
Telia and Sonera have decided to include their second quarter results in the Telia Exchange Offer document. Both companies are issuing their second quarter results on July 25, 2002, after which the Exchange Offer document will be updated with this information and the exchange offer can commence.
Telia's Press Office +46 8 713 58 30
Michael Kongstad, SVP Corporate Communications, Telia, phone: +46 8 713 64 10, or
Jari Jaakkola, EVP Corporate Communications and Investor Relations, Sonera,
phone: +358 2040 651 70
------------------------------------------------------------
This information was brought to you by Waymaker http://www.waymaker.net