CNC examines mobile trio after claims of abuse of dominance

6 Jan 2012

Spain’s Comision Nacional de la Competencia (CNC) has announced the launch of disciplinary proceedings against the country’s three largest cellco’s by subscribers, Telefonica Moviles Espana (Movistar), Vodafone Spain and Orange Espana. It is understood that the matter stems from a complaint filed by British fixed line incumbent BT and its Spanish subsidiary, mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) BT Spain, which both claim that the three mobile network operators abused their dominant position in the sector by setting excessive wholesale rates. The antitrust watchdog noted in a press release that there was ‘reasonable suspicion’ that the three cellco’s may have individually or collectively abused their dominant position by ‘consistent behaviour in the narrowing of operating margins [of] MVNOs when setting prices for wholesale services origination and call termination in their national telephone networks mobile, and retail prices for mobile call services, especially in the business segment.’ The CNC has noted that the investigation into the matter will take a maximum of 18 months.