Feeds

Telefónica slapped with €67m anti-competitive fine from EU

Portugal Telecom gets €12m penalty for deal with 'mate'

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Spanish communications giant Telefónica has been fined €66.8m by the European Commission for agreeing not to compete with Portugal Telecom, which was slapped with a lighter €12m penalty by Brussels officials.

The two companies were found to be in breach of Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which bans anti-competitive behaviour among corporations, the EC said.

A non-compete clause folded into an agreement between the two outfits after Telefónica acquired Brazilian mobile operator Vivo - which had been jointly owned by both companies until 2010 - indicated that the parties would not fight for the same business in Spain and Portugal.

That deal was killed in February 2011 when the commission opened antitrust proceedings against the two firms.

EC competition chief Joaquín Almunia said:

The Commission is committed to ensuring the creation of a genuine single market in the telecoms sector. We will not tolerate anticompetitive practices by incumbents to protect their home markets, as they harm consumers and delay market integration.

Instead of competing with each other for offering clients the most advantageous conditions, as is expected in an open and competitive market, Telefónica and Portugal Telecom deliberately agreed to stay out of each other's home markets.

By preserving the status quo in Spain and Portugal, the agreement hindered the integration process of the EU telecoms sector. Non-compete agreements are one of the most serious violations of EU competition rules, as they potentially result in higher prices and less choice for consumers.

The Commission said it had taken into account the four-month duration of the infringement as well as its severity. The decision to end the non-compete agreement quickly was a mitigating circumstance in how the commission set its financial penalties against the two firms. The fines could have been as high as 10 per cent of revenues.

Telefónica, which owns mobile network operator O2 in the UK, is expected to appeal against the commission's penalty. It currently has a net debt of €58bn, so such a multimillion euro fine will be most unwelcome. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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 dangles gigabit broadband plans over 100 US cities
So soon after a mulled Google Fiber expansion, fancy that
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
EE & Vodafone will let you BONK on the TUBE – with Boris' blessing
Transport for London: You can pay, but don't touch
NBN Co plans fibre-to-the-basement blitz to beat cherry-pickers
Heading off at the pass operation given same priority as blackspot fixing
NBN Co in 'broadband kit we tested worked' STUNNER
Announcement of VDSL trial is not proof of concept for fibre-to-the-node
Google eyes business service in latest Fiber trials
Lucky Kansas City buggers to host yet another pilot program
Huawei exec: 'Word of mouth' will beat Apple and Samsung in Europe
World Mobile Telephone Factory No.3 won't fling the big bucks around just yet
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.
Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
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.