The top two French operators France Telecom-Orange and SFR have been fined a total of EUR183.1 million by the country’s regulator for anti-competitive practices.
The fine has been levied due to the companies offering unlimited calls between subscribers on the same operator, which the competition authority said distorted competition and harmed number-three operator Bouygues Telecom.
France Telecom-Orange was fined EUR117.4 million with Vivendi-owned SFR hit to the tune of EUR65.7 million. France Telecom earned a higher penalty as it was the sixth anti-competitive incident the group has been involved with in the past 15 years.
The regulator found that with 17 percent of the market, Bouygues was unable to match the offers as its in-network calls were less frequent for customers. When the company responded with similar offers, it hurt its profitability
Both France Telecom and SFR said they plan to appeal the fines.
The decision was the result of a complaint filed by Bouygues in October 2006 and relates to the period between 2005 and 2008.