Vodafone files formal complaint over Telefonica Espana’s deals with rivals

18 Feb 2014

Vodafone Group is said to have lodged a complaint against Telefonica in which it alleges that the latter is abusing its position in Spain to reduce competition for telecoms, internet and television services. According to Reuters, with the British company having filed its grievance at the end of last week, on Monday Vodafone claimed that a deal between Telefonica Espana (Movistar) and smaller alternative operator Jazz Telecom (Jazztel) related to fibre-optic network development was part of a tactical plan designed to make it impossible for Vodafone Spain to compete, as the latter lacks any fibre-based infrastructure of its own in the country. With Movistar having also announced a series of agreements with the Yoigo, the Spanish unit of Sweden’s TeliaSonera, in August 2013, these are also understood to be the subject of Vodafone’s complaints; as noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, as per the agreements, in return for Yoigo granting Movistar access to its in-deployment LTE network, Yoigo is able to market a converging product with its mobile services and Movistar’s fixed voice and broadband services. A spokesman for Vodafone Group was cited as saying of the matter: ‘All the practices … leave fewer choices for consumers.’ In response to the criticism of its agreements with both Jazztel and Yoigo, however, a Telefonica spokesman said: ‘All our deals are legal. We have shown we are willing to sign deals with everyone.’