SFR to appeal EUR220 million ‘collusion’ charge

19 Jan 2007

French mobile operator SFR, backed by Vivendi and Vodafone, says it plans to appeal a EUR220 million (USD260.5 million) fine for alleged market collusion in the French Supreme Court. In December 2005 SFR, along with Orange France and Bouygues, were handed hefty fines totalling EUR534 million from the competition watchdog Conseil de la Concurrence following allegations of market collusion. At the time the Conseil said all three were guilty of exchanging confidential information between 1997 and 2003, commenting: ‘The council is of the opinion that, while the discussions did not concern the price decisions that they were to take, the exchange of information was of such a nature that it reduced the intensity of competition on the mobile telecommunications market.’ The fines, which included EUR256 million for Orange and EUR58 million for Bouygues, were upheld last month by an appeals court. SFR’s rivals have declined to say if they will be appealing their fines.

France, Bouygues Telecom, Orange France, SFR