The European Commission (EC) reimposed a fine of more than €79 million on Telefonica and Pharol (formerly Portugal Telecom), after previous penalties relating to a non-compete agreement were rejected by Europe’s top court.
Spain-based Telefonica is again being fined €66.9 million, with Pharol liable for €12.2 million. The EC originally imposed the penalties 2013 over a deal the operators struck to avoid competing in Iberian telecommunications markets.
The EC stated its latest decision “takes full account” of a European General Court ruling in 2016 which upheld a conclusion Telefonica and Pharol’s agreement breached antitrust rules and which was later affirmed by the Court of Justice.
Although the overall ethos of the EC decision was backed by the General Court, it had overturned the fines because it agreed with the operators that certain markets should have been excluded from the calculations.
The EC appears to have not deviated significantly from its original assessment: “The newly-imposed fines use the same parameters as regards gravity, duration and aggravating and mitigating circumstances as in the 2013 Commission decision,” it stated.
Portugal Telecom became Pharol in 2015 following an acquisition of its domestic assets by Altice.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back