Altice fined EUR80m over SFR takeover

9 Nov 2016

Netherlands-based Altice Group (Altice SA, headed by French entrepreneur Patrick Drahi) has reached a settlement with the Competition Authority (Autorite de la Concurrence) by accepting a fine of EUR80 million (USD88 million) for taking over French telecoms provider SFR before being authorised to do so by the antitrust regulator. The operator said in a press release that it chose to settle the matter in order to limit its financial exposure, adding that ‘the denounced practices, which aimed to make the new entity operational as soon as possible after obtaining clearance of the transaction, were performed in good faith, in the midst of legal uncertainty.’

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in September 2016 it emerged that Altice and its French telecoms subsidiary Numericable were under investigation for coordinating their commercial strategies before the Numericable-SFR merger got the green light. The two operators were said to face a fine of up to EUR500 million for the infringement.

France, Altice Europe (formerly Altice Group), Altice France (SFR)