Spain to appeal to EU over Telefonica fine
30 October 2007, MADRID - (AFP) - The government of Spain said Tuesday it had appealed a fine of 151.8 million euros (219 million dollars) slapped by European Union antitrust regulars on Telefonica for uncompetitive practices.
30 October 2007
MADRID - (AFP) - The government of Spain said Tuesday it had appealed a fine of 151.8 million euros (219 million dollars) slapped by European Union antitrust regulars on Telefonica for uncompetitive practices.
The purpose of the appeal is to defend Spain's antitrust authorities and their regulation of the telecom industry, not to defend the telecommunications operator, the industry and commerce ministry said in a statement.
"The supposed activities agaisnt competition by the part of Telefonica had been validated by (Spanish telecom watchdog) CMT, which approved them because they were not agaisnt competition," it said in a statement.
The European Commission imposed the fine on July 4, saying Telefonica had abused its dominant position by setting wholesale prices to rival broadband providers that squeezed their margins between Spetmeber 2001 and December 2006.
The fine is the largest ever slapped on a telecoms operator in Europe and the second largest the Commission has imposed for abusing market strength after a hitting Microsoft with a penalty of nearly half a billion euros in 2004.
Telefonica, a former state monopoly, has also appealed the fine, arguing it was "unjustified and disproportionate, both legally and economically".
Subject: Spanish news