France-based operator Free Mobile reportedly sought a total of €1.5 billion in damages from rivals Orange and Bouygues Telecom over handset subsidy practices, continuing a long-running spat against the business model.
L’Express reported Free Mobile claimed €790 million from Orange and €780 million from Bouygues Telecom as it argued device subsidies amounted to consumer credits.
The newspaper stated Free Mobile also claimed the subsidies model was leading to unfair competition by enticing customers to commit to long-term subscriptions accompanied by the purchase of a new handset.
In a related article, Le Figaro said Bouygues Telecom reacted with a reversed claim for €1.5 billion in damages from Free Mobile, over an alleged denigration and rights abuse.
Free Mobile scored a victory in 2018 over the definition of handset subsidies as a consumer credit facility following a complaint filed in 2012. It commenced legal action against Orange shortly after.