French telecoms group Numericable could face a fine of up to EUR500 million euros (USD560 million) for taking over SFR before being authorised to do so by France’s Competition Authority (Autorite de la Concurrence), Les Echos writes. An unnamed source was cited as saying: ‘There is a lot of evidence that Numericable took control of SFR before it should have.’ The two companies are reportedly accused of coordinating their commercial strategies before the merger got the green light. The final decision is expected to be announced by the end of the year.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, on 5 April 2014 SFR’s parent Vivendi accepted a takeover offer for the telecoms unit from cable group Numericable, itself majority owned by Altice Group. France’s competition authority granted its conditional approval to the acquisition of domestic telco SFR in October, with the merger completed the following month.