The Paris Appeals court has ordered French telecoms operator Orange to pay its rival Digicel nearly EUR250 million (USD280 million) in compensation for anti-competitive practices in the French overseas territories of Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guiana. A spokesperson for Orange said that the court ruled that Orange must pay Digicel EUR181.5 million in damages and EUR68 million in interest, adding that the company is now considering launching an appeal in France’s highest court, the Cour de Cassation.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in February 2018 the Paris Commercial Court ordered Orange Caraibe to pay EUR346 million to Digicel Antilles-Francaise Guyane for anti-competitive practices. The case dates back to 2009 when Orange was handed a EUR63 million fine by the French Competition Authority (Autorite de la Concurrence) for ‘abuse of dominant position’ in the West Indies, which was subsequently reduced to EUR60 million on appeal. However, the fine was paid to the state, and did not compensate the two competing operators Digicel and Outremer Telecom. The two operators subsequently filed a suit with the Paris Commercial Court to claim damages of EUR494 million (Digicel) and EUR75 million (Outremer).