The French competition authority fined Altice and SFR €40 million for failing to honour commitments made when the former’s subsidiary Numericable took over SFR in 2014.
SFR said it will appeal the ruling, which relates to a deal it signed with Bouygues Telecom in 2010 covering investment in fibre infrastructure in densely populated areas. The deal was designed to protect the interests of Bouygues Telecom.
Autorite de la Concurrence found the pace of fibre deployment had not met the agreed timeline and network maintenance deteriorated. A new schedule was created to ensure SFR carries out its promises, which includes clauses requiring the operator to make periodic penalty payments if it fails to do so.
This is the third time a fine has been imposed by the competition authority on Altice in connection with the takeover. In November, the authority fined Altice €80 million for cooperating on commercial activities with SFR before regulators approved the acquisition.
According to Le Figaro, the latest decision is a “small victory” for Bouygues Telecom, as it believes it has been “the victim of SFR’s non-compliance” and wants to accelerate fibre deployment.