Orange Ordered to Pay the State 350 Million Euros

Finance
Orange ordered to pay a record fine

The Competition Authority has condemned the Orange Group to a record fine of 350 million euros …

He will have to pay 350 million euros. The telephone operator Orange has been sentenced to this penalty by the Competition Authority. This is the most severe punishment ever imposed on a telecommunications player.

The group was convicted of “abuse of dominance”. If dominate a market is not prohibited, which is, however, is to use this position to apply exorbitant prices to consumers or to eliminate competitors by illegal means.

In this case, it is the second drift that is alleged to Orange:  many of its competitors accuse him of having developed a system to oust them. The criticisms do not relate to the offers for individuals, but those imagined for companies.

It’s SFR which filed the first complaint in 2008, followed by Bouygues Telecom in 2010 and by the British Colt in 2014. According to these operators, Orange has, since 2003, implemented several practices illegal. The # 1 French notably applied to its business customers of “predatory pricing”, that is to say abusively low prices.

This phenomenon is well  known: a company, generally dominant, fixed its prices to a level such that it suffers losses or waive short-term profits in order to exclude or discipline a competitor or competitors, or to make more difficult the entry of future competitors on the market, in order to subsequently raise its price to recover its losses.

In the end, four different fraudulent practices uncovered by the Competition Authority “have made significant and cumulative barriers to changing operators and helped to stiffen a market that already had a reduced flow due to the reluctance of companies to change operator given the complexity of the migration process, “explains the institution.

Orange acknowledges the facts: the company “does not dispute the anti-competitive practices neither their nor finally given the outcome of the case, whether the penalty or injunctions designed to immediately restore the competitive functioning market, “the Competition Authority in its press release.

Orange has already been convicted

This is not the first time that this institution condemns Orange. In 2005, she had already sanctioned Orange, but SFR and Bouygues Telecom, a global fine of 534 million euros. The facts were different then: the three operators had been punished for colluding on the rates offered to individuals, thus distorting competition.

In the end, this condemnation is especially a nice Christmas present … for the state.It is he who collects the fines imposed on the companies. Who are forced to pay immediately. Recall that between 2003 and 2013, the Competition Authority has imposed a total of € 3.5 billion in fines to companies.

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