Minister proves unexpected ally in mobiles protest

1st March 2007, Comments 0 comments

1 March 2007, MADRID - A popular protest against rises in mobile phone calls was underway on Thursday with thousands of Spaniards pledging not to use their phones.

1 March 2007

MADRID - A popular protest against rises in mobile phone calls was underway on Thursday with thousands of Spaniards pledging not to use their phones.

But protestors who organised 'The Day without Mobiles'received an unexpected ally in the form of the industry minister, Joan Clos, who promised to "refrain from the use of the mobile as much as possible".

The protest is being staged after three of the biggest mobile phone companies allegedly fixed a price rise at the same time on the same day, to avoid any falls on the Spanish stock exchange.

The companies, Telefonica, Vodafone and Orange last month, raised their call tariffs by almost exactly the same amounts, from 12 to 15 centimes per minute - or by 25 percent.

Consumers groups have lodged a complaint with the stock market watchdog, which is carrying out an investigation into whether the companies broke competition legislation which bans such pacts.

Protestors have called on Spain's 46.3m mobile users to avoid using their phones.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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