Orange, Vodafone Romania Fined EUR63M For Abuse Of Dominant Position

Romania’s Competition Council fined mobile operators Orange Romania and Vodafone Romania EUR63 million for abuse of dominant position, Competition Council president Bogdan Chiritoiu said Tuesday.

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Imaginea articolului Orange, Vodafone Romania Fined EUR63M For Abuse Of Dominant Position

Orange, Vodafone Romania Fined EUR63M For Abuse Of Dominant Position

The decision was adopted by the antitrust authority on Monday, February 14. Orange Romania was fined over EUR34 million and Vodafone over EUR28 million, which represents about 3% of the two operators' 2010 turnover, Chiritoiu told a news conference.

He said the two companies may challenge the decision in court.

Competition Council investigations started in 2006, following a complaint filed by Netmaster Communications SRL. Orange, Vodafone and Romtelecom were accused of alleged abuse of dominant position on the telephony market.

Netmaster Communications said the three operators blocked a part of the international calls made by its clients.

Orange and Vodafone charged interconnection prices ranging $0.15-0.18/minute, compared to a $0.10/minute maximum level set by the authority, said Chiritoiu.

Regarding Romtelecom, investigations are about to be concluded and the Competition Council will make known its decision, said Chiritoiu.

According to the last data Netmaster Communications sent to the National Commerce Registry Office, the operator posted a 8.98 million lei (EUR1=RON4.2490) turnover in 2007 and a gross profit amounting to RON27,042.

Netmaster Communications no longer operates on the market. The company was bought by New Com Telecomunicatii, which transferred its clients to RCS&RDS and Romtelecom after facing financial problems.

Both Orange and Vodafone issued statements saying they wil contest the fines in court.

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