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Orange: €350m abuse fine

Orange has been fined €350m for abuse of its dominant position as France’s former national telecoms incumbent by the country’s antitrust regulator. The Autorité de la Concurrence criticised Orange for anti-competitive behaviour towards rivals that use its national mobile and fixed-line networks for business customers

The watchdog said Orange had offered loyalty and tariff discount schemes since 2002 that cumulatively could discourage customers from moving their businesses to another operator such as Bouygues and SFR-Numericable. The regulator also criticised the group for not providing information about France’s copper line network to other operators. It said it would impose injunctions to restore fair competition.

Orange said it would change its practices following the ruling, which will end eight years of legal action from rivals. The telecoms group said there would be no impact on financial results as a result of the fine, which would not be appealed.

“Orange has decided not to contest or appeal against the decision of the Competition Authority on this matter, that relates exclusively to the potential rather than actual impact on the market of the relevant practices,” it said.

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