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Supreme Court of Denmark

SINE (Safety Network) 

Cae no. 110/2013

Judgment delivered on 11 February 2015. 

Hans Damm Research A/S
The Danish Business Authority (formerly the National IT and Telecom Agency),
The Agency for Modernisation Ministry of Finance (formerly the Danish Agency for Governmental Management)
The Ministry of Defence

The authorities were not liable for expenses for extension of radio network

In 2001, the National IT and Telecom Agency issued two permissions based on the TETRA technology for the establishment and operation of radio networks. One of the permissions covered emergency and contingency communication (the emergency and contingency band), while the other covered other areas (the civil band). Each of the permission holders were entitled to compete for customers in both bands. In 2003, a subsidiary of Hans Damm Research A/S was granted permission for the civil band.

In 2006, the Danish Agency for Governmental Management put a contract for a nationwide radio network (SINE) out to tender. The network was to be used by all national, regional and local emergency services for emergency and contingency communication. Another subsidiary of Hans Damm Research took part in the tender, but was not selected. An act adopted in 2007 imposed an obligation on municipalities and regions to use the SINE radio network.

The main issue in the case was whether, under that act and/or the SINE tender, the authorities were liable for the expenses incurred by Hans Damm Research in connection with the extension of a radio network in accordance with the permission from 2001, because SINE made it impossible for Hans Dam Research to compete for emergency and contingency customers.

The majority of the Supreme Court held that the authorities were not liable. The majority stated that the permission from 2001 did not extend a right to a certain amount of customers or include any restrictions on the State's room for manoeuvre as a customer. Consequently, the permission did not restrict all the public emergency services from becoming customers in one joint network with other customers associated with the general emergency services.

The High Court had reached the same conclusion. 

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