Spain through the looking glass

Competition watchdog busts telcos

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I can’t resist a touch of schadenfreude here: three of Spain’s largest telcos in Orange, Vodafone and Telefónica have just been slapped with whopping fines by Spain’s Competition Commission (the CNC).

The penalties totalling close to €120 million were imposed for anti-competitive strategies on SMS pricing from 2000 to 2009.

Detailing its decision to punish the unholy trinity, the CNC’s investigations Division said that the three operators had abused their dominant market position in those years by charging whatever they liked for SMS and MMS termination fees.

The competition watchdog said this had not only artificially lifted end-prices for consumers but had also priced virtual operators out of the market.

Telefónica will now have to shell out €46,490,000 while Vodafone is staring down the barrel at a fine of €43,525,000. Orange will be let off relatively lightly with a bill of €29,950,000.

I will be curious to see if the companies pay up on time.

And before I am accused of random corporate bashing, I do genuinely believe that mobile telephony pricing in the first world is nothing short of scandalous. The prices and service standards of Spanish telcos are also worse than those I have experienced anywhere else.


Written by georgemills25

December 20, 2012 at 16:09

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