Deutsche Telekom and its business in Slovakia lost a legal battle spanning seven years, after a court rejected the operator’s appeal against a European Commission (EC) fine for anti-competitive practices.
Slovak Telekom and Deutsche Telekom were first caught in the EC’s crosshairs in 2014, after the watchdog issued a joint €38.8 million fine along with a separate €31 million penalty against the German incumbent.
The EC penalised the pair after alleging they had used their position to charge unfair wholesale prices for more than five years from 2005 in a bid to squeeze out competitors.
Its fines were reduced in 2018 when Deutsche Telekom won an appeal, with the joint sum trimmed to €38 million and the penalty on the German parent dropped to €19 million.
However, Deutsche Telekom’s latest attempt to have the fine cut completely was rejected by the Court of Justice of the European Union, the bloc’s top court, which confirmed in a statement it threw out the appeal and the amount due remained unchanged.
Deutsche Telekom snapped up the remaining 49 per cent of Slovak Telekom it did not already own in 2015, a year after it was first hit the fine.
The company said at the time the market helped its ambitions to be a leading integrated pan-European operator, providing fixed-line telephony and broadband, and mobile services in the country.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back