Investigation result due later this year

26 Aug 2005

The French anti-trust authority Conseil de la Concurrence has confirmed more details of its investigation into alleged price fixing in the French mobile market. The Conseil is attempting to determine whether Orange, SFR and Bouygues Telecom colluded to set minimum prices and manipulate their market shares between 1997 and 2003. If found guilty the operators could be fined up to 10% of their revenues. The Conseil, which is conducting the investigation along with France’s other competition authority, the DGCCRF, said it hopes to reach a decision “toward the end of the year, most likely in November” according to Dow Jones. All three French mobile operators have denied working together. Orange has released a statement saying “the idea of ‘manipulating’ a market of 45 million clients using some 20,000 points of sale is totally unrealistic”. It adds that mobile prices fell by around 40% between 1998 and 2002 and SMS charges are now the lowest in Europe.

France, Bouygues Telecom, Orange France, SFR