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Swisscom loses appeal over fibre-optic standards

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FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss telecoms group Swisscom is seen at an office building, in Zurich
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(Corrects typographical error in headline)

ZURICH (Reuters) -Switzerland's Federal Administrative Court has rejected Swisscom's appeal over the standards it has to use in expanding fibre-optic networks to consumers, the court said on Tuesday.

The case centred on whether Swisscom could use a different standard than the one telecoms companies had agreed in a round table with regulators, the court said in a statement.

The Swiss Competition Commission had provisionally prohibited Swisscom from pursuing its network expansion until the commission had concluded an investigation, a decision that Swisscom had appealed against in January.

"Swisscom was unable to credibly substantiate to the court that there were sufficient technological or economic grounds to deviate from the fibre-optic standard," it ruled in a verdict that may be appealed at the Swiss supreme court.

The telecom company said that it regrets the court decision and considers the precautionary measures to be misguided.

"We are convinced that our conduct is fair and in line with competition law and will now consider our next steps," Swisscom CEO Urs Schaeppi said in a statement.

(Reporting by Michael Shields in Zurich and Nishit Jogi in Bengaluru; Editing by Alison Williams and Mark Porter)

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