The highest fine ever imposed by the competition Council, all sectors, was imposed two years ago, the three mobile operators Orange, SFR and Bouygues Telecom for a total of 534 million euros. But three operators still hope to escape the payment of this record punishment. According to our information, they in effect, each on their side, before November 20 the Court of appeal of Paris to request, once again, "the annulment of the decision of the Council of competition" and "Alternatively the Reformation" of this decision. The verdict should be delivered in one year about.
Is November 30, 2005 three mobile operators had been sentenced to, on the one hand, a penalty of EUR 442 million for illicit agreement over three years (2000-2002) returning to "divide the market" and, on the other hand, EUR 92 million for regularly exchanged confidential information on the sector for several years (1997-2003). At the time of these anti-competitive behaviour, the France had barely beyond the 20 million subscribers of mobile and several studies are emphasized a "low" rate of penetration of the mobile compared to other European countries, while noting "higher" than the average rates.
Since then, this record and historic decision remains contested by three mobile operators. Or, at least, ask the cancellation of the 92 million euros related to the grievance of the exchange of information that the Court of cassation had censored, June 29, in "breaking partially" the first stop on December 12, 2006, confirming the decision of the elders of the street of the scale. The Supreme Court had in fact validated the first grievance on the unlawful agreement with assent of 442 million, but not the second, alleging that the judge of appeal of having "failed" enough "anti-competitive" character of these exchanges of information between, at the time, Didier Quillot (Orange), Pierre Bardon (SFR), Patrick Leleu (Bouygues Telecom) or their teams. Yet, "similarities" trade and tariff had been found.
As to the prohibited agreement, which had allowed the operators to "stabilize their respective market shares", it has already been definitively confirmed. This had given the green light to the UFC - choose the source of the complaint to the competition Council on 22 February 2002 (see opposite) to enter, October 13, 2006, the tribunal de commerce of Paris and demonstrate the direct link between the lack of the "triopole" and the injury suffered by their subscribers.
Opening of a Web site
"We call repair for one year for 12.521 mobile users representing a total prejudice to 822.505 euros." "We demand further damages and interest for the association for the collective interest amounting to 192.981 euros distributed between three mobile operators", tells the "Echos" Charlotte Dekeyser, lawyer in UFC-Que choose. Consumers ' association, which opened the web site cartelmobile two years ago, regrets the lack of group action ("class action") in France. Which requires the Court to investigate complaints one by one. For the time being, Orange, SFR, Bouygues who already have each been given a hearing three times contre-argumentent with UFC - that choice on the economic assessment of the damage. If there is no agreement by the summer, an expert will be designated and the proceedings will go on.