chapter  10
25 Pages

Fast Mover in a Reluctant Political Environment: The Case of Telenor

WithStine Ludvigsen

This chapter focuses on the political and regulatory environment of Telenor. Ever since the establishment of the Norwegian Telegraph Administration in 1855 the political debate about telecommunications in Norway has been characterised by the dominant role of regional policy, welfare issues and employment. Whereas the focus on regional, welfare, and employment issues provided political gains in these areas, the financial aspect of telecommunication services received less attention from politicians. In order to advance liberalisation of telecommunications and ensure non-biased sector management, the regulatory functions were separated from the incumbent and placed in an independent administrative body called the Norwegian Telecommunication Authority. By contrast, Norway was among the last of the Western European countries to accept a restructuring of the incumbent from an administrative enterprise to joint-stock company. Choosing a strategy of global integration either through exit from or control of subsidiaries, during the early 2000s Telenor sold off several minority positions and increased its ownership positions in other subsidiaries, respectively.