Telenor challenges GVH’s decision and considers the amount of the fine strongly disproportionate

The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) imposed a fine of HUF 1.8bn on Telenor Hungary for its ad campaign ended in October 2017 promoting Telenor Blue tariff plans including a discount handset purchase option.

Telenor’s position is that it provided very high price subsidies to consumers during the affected period of the ad campaign which means that GVH contests a business practice highly beneficial to the vast majority of customers.

During the nearly 2-year investigation process of the objected ad campaign, Telenor has been closely cooperating with GVH in clarifying the case. Telenor believes that it acted lawfully creating the ad disputed by GVH. The advertising materials included all information relevant to consumers. 

The affected ad was about one particular offer. Telenor’s position is that the format of the ads didn’t allow it to present several options within the same ad. Moreover, this expectation is not a statutory requirement and is not even common practice.

Due to the highly complex nature of the case, the GVH investigation took a long time during which the authority changed its position significantly several times. To demonstrate its willingness to cooperate, Telenor updated its advertising practice in line with the requirements articulated by GVH already in the investigation phase. Having studied GVH’s criteria, it also offered to launch a broad-based public awareness campaign including television ad placements at its own cost. This offer, however, was turned down by GVH. 

Telenor Hungary challenges GVH’s decision, considers the amount of the imposed fine strongly disproportionate and, therefore, it will file an appeal against the decision in court. 

Telenor Hungary thanks its customers for their trust and expresses its commitment to long-term mobile telecommunications development in Hungary.