Feeds

Spanish telco defiant over huge broadband anti-trust fine

Telefónica claims clear conscience

Boost IT visibility and business value

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. ®

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.