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Record 63m-euro fine for Orange and Vodafone

Record 63m-euro fine for Orange and Vodafone

Autor: Magraon Andreea

15.02.2011, 23:38 18

Orange and Vodafone, the biggest mobile phone operators on theRomanian market, were fined 63 million euros by the CompetitionCouncil for abuse of dominant position, this being the biggest fineever levied by the institution. Representatives of the twooperators announced they would challenge the decision of theCompetition Council, which they deem unfounded, in a court oflaw.
"Orange was fined 34.8 million euros and Vodafone 28.3 millioneuros, amounting to just over 3% of the operators' 2010 turnover,"said Bogdan Chiriţoiu, chairman of the Competition Council.
The fines were imposed following a complaint filed by fixedtelephony operator Netmaster Communications, according to whichOrange and Vodafone had blocked its access to the two networks.This precluded Netmaster clients from having phone conversationswith Orange and Vodafone users. Netmaster clients received a codethat had to be dialled before any phone number, recognised by thenetwork of the other operators, and redirected to the Netmasternetwork.
The two operators also charged to Netmaster an interconnection feeof 0.15-0.18 dollars per minute for international calls, higherthan the 0.10-dollar maximum charge set by the communicationsregulatory authority.