FT fined EUR45 million for abusing dominant position

16 Oct 2007

French incumbent France Telecom (FT) has been fined EUR45 million (USD63.8 million) by the country’s competition authority for pursuing anti-competitive practices in the xDSL market in 2001/02. The fine relates to complaints brought by T-Online and Liberty Surf (now part of Telecom Italia France), and brings to an end a raft of preliminary judgements against FT. The former monopoly is allowed to appeal the decision, although it is understood it will not do so. FT was found guilty of favouring its own internet service provider (ISP) Wanadoo in the period, making it hard for rivals to gain a toehold and significantly hindering the development of the local DSL market. The competition authority originally increased the fine by 50% in light of what it saw as FT’s flagrant and continued breach of the rules. Earlier this year the French courts upheld a fine of EUR10.4 million imposed by the EC on Wanadoo (now Orange) for similar offences.

France, Orange Group