In a telecommunications environment which has been liberalised in Switzerland since 1 January 1998, ComCom was established as an independent body to assume the role of market regulator, according to a model which has been applied in most European countries.
As the Confederation is the majority shareholder in Swisscom, the former monopoly, it could not play the role of judge and one of the parties. For this reason, legislators decided in favour of an autonomous authority.
(see Annual Report 1998)
Its independence is thus enshrined in the law on telecommunications (art. 56, para. 2 LTC) :
"The Commission is not subject to any directive of the Federal Council or the Department as far as its decisions are concerned. It is independent of the administrative authorities. It has its own secretariat".
Naturally, the Commission always acts within the framework of this same law, which defines its activities by virtue of the objectives which it has laid down: "the purpose of this law is to ensure telecommunications services for individuals and business environments which are varied, advantageous, of high quality and competitive in national and international terms". It must, among other things, "guarantee that a reliable universal service is provided at a reasonable price to all categories of the population and throughout the country", as well as "allowing effective competition in terms of telecommunication services" (art. 1, LTC).