Feeds

Spanish telco defiant over huge broadband anti-trust fine

Telefónica claims clear conscience

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

O2 parent company Telefónica has protested innocence after it was slammed by European anti-trust regulators for gaming the broadband market in its Spanish home territory.

The firm was yesterday hit with a €152m fine, the second largest in EU competition history after Microsoft's €280m wrist slap.

Brussels said Telefónica's penalty should serve as a warning to other incumbents that the commission will not stand for anti-competitive behaviour.

Chief regulator Neelie Kroes said: "Telefónica's conduct harmed Spanish consumers, Spanish businesses, and the Spanish economy as a whole, and by extension Europe's economy. I want to send a strong signal to dominant undertakings in all sectors...that I will not tolerate such behaviour."

Over several years, beginning in 2001, the former monopoly hamstrung its competitors by charging a price for wholesale broadband which was so close to Telefónica's retail price that they were forced to take a loss to stay in the market.

Broadband in Spain is 20 per cent more expensive, penetration 20 per cent lower, and growth 30 per cent slower than the western Europe average. More here from the EU.

Telefónica blamed contradictory rules from domestic and European regulators for the anti-competitive broadband market in Spain. It said it plans to lodge an appeal against the fine in the next few days. Full denial here (pdf). Mobile tentacle O2 already has a complaint in with the EU over the enforced cuts in roaming charges.

BT ran into similar anti-trust claims in the UK, particularly over local loop unbundling, once broadband became a mass market proposition in the earlier part of this decade. It was threatened with break up by Ofcom, but was able to dodge that bullet by setting up Openreach, a separate division designed to provide equal access to the national network to competitors. These days it would never be that naughty. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.