Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/06/30/france_telecom_subsidies/

France Telecom faces payback time

EC closes in

By John Oates

Posted in Financial News, 30th June 2004 09:49 GMT

France Telecom is likely to have to pay back €1bn in illegal subsidies it received from the French government, following an 18-month investigation by Mario Monti, the EC Competition Commissioner.

The allegations against France Telecom come in two parts:

Originally, the Commission investigated a €9bn line of credit - but could not prove it existed. It is now looking at whether comments by French government ministers in themselves offered illegal support. A decision in the case is expected before the Commission's August break. ®

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