FT, SFR emerge successful in ‘antitrust’ appeal

31 Jan 2011

French telcos France Telecom (FT) Vivendi-backed SFR have reportedly won their appeal against antitrust fines imposed on them in 2004. Bloomberg writes that the Paris appeals court, in a ruling issued yesterday, reversed the EUR18 million (USD24.5 million) fine levied upon FT and the EUR2 million fine imposed on SFR, saying the regulator Arcep had ‘failed to prove the pair had hampered competition’. In his ruling, Judge Thierry Fossier said: ‘The disputed decision did not sufficiently and incontrovertibly demonstrate that the reproached policies put in place by France Telecom and SFR had or could restrain or misrepresent competitive fair play.’ The decision in question involves accusations that in the period 1999 to 2001, FT and SFR offered customers tariffs for fixed-to-mobile calls that did not cover their costs (as providers), a practice that Arcep ruled at the time barred new entrants from offering competitive prices without making a loss.

France, Orange Group, SFR