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European Commission investigates call charges

Seven countries in the frame over international pricing

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The European Commission is to mount an investigation of international phone charges levied by PTTs in seven countries. The Commission says that the investigation is the result of a survey of the entire EU, which began almost a year ago. The countries to be covered are Austria, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg and Portugal, and the Commission is focussing on transfer charges made to forward international calls. The reduction of these would bring the targeted countries more into line with the rest of the EU, and with global plans for telecoms deregulation. Overcharging for international services has historically been an easy source of revenue for PTTs. The Commission has invited the national authorities to investigate possible over-charging, and provided they do so, will then be willing to wait six months before considering further action.

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