Italian cellcos hit with more fines

9 Mar 2015

Italian mobile operators Telecom Italia (TI), Vodafone Italy and Wind Telecomunicazioni have been fined a total of EUR1.495 million (USD1.62 million) by the country’s competition watchdog AGCM for ‘adopting unfair trade practices’ in the transformation of free services such as call-back into paid-for services. The antitrust authority says the operators kept the services stored on new registered SIM cards even after they stopped being offered for free in 2014, meaning customers would actively have to disable the service themselves. TI is being fined EUR400,000, while Vodafone has been hit with a penalty of EUR650,000. Wind, meanwhile, must pay EUR250,000 for the ‘unfair commercial practice’, plus EUR95,000 for the ‘omission of information’ and EUR100,000 for the violation of article 65 of the Consumer Code relating to new subscribers. In January this year TI, Vodafone, Wind and fourth player 3 Italia were fined a total of EUR5.1 million for illegally activating premium rate services without the end user’s permission.