The French Competition Authority imposes record fines on the mobile telephone operators for market sharing and exchange of information (Orange / SFR / Bouygues)

On November 30th 2005, the French Competition Council (the “Council” ) imposed heavy fines on the three mobile telephone undertakings, Orange France, SFR and Bouygues Telecom, amounting to a € 534 millions total. The allotment of the fines was as follows : – Orange France: 256 million Euros – SFR: 220 million Euros – Bouygues Télécom: 58 million Euros Following the Council's decision to begin proceedings ex officio on 28th August 2001, and a referral handed down by the consumer association “UFC Que Choisir” on February 22nd 2002, an investigation was carried out revealing that the three undertakings had engaged in two kinds of anticompetitive agreements that distorted market competition. Indeed, not only did they share strategic information, but they also

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