Telefónica files claims against France Telecom
The Spanish telecom group joins an EU investigation into government funding of France Telecom.13 October 2008
MADRID -- Spanish telecommunications group Telefónica filed claims against France Telecom as part of an investigation by the European Commission into the French government funding the French former monopoly.
The search centers on the agreement between the French government and France Telecom under which the state pays for the early retirements of 22,000 France Telecom workers under a plan that began in 2006.
The agreement allowed France Telecom to save between EUR 12 billion and
EUR 14.8 billion in salary, pension and unemployment payments for the workers, most of whom were former government employees from when France ran the company.
The Commission believes that France violated EU competition rules that limit government assistance to private companies. In Spain, France Telecom owns the Orange cell phone operator, a direct competitor to Telefónica's Movistar.
[El Pais / Ramon Munoz / Expatica]