France Telecom fined €45 million
Today is an expensive day for France Telecom as it has had a €45 million fine levied against it by France's competition regulator according to Reuters.co.uk.
While Orange, who most people will know France Telecom as, says the practices were "old and buried", it raises the spectre of other regulators around Europe hitting dominant providers who can be found to have abused their market position with large fines. This fine arose from a complaint lodged in 2001 by Club Internet (owned by German incumbent Deutsche Telekom).
In France Orange now has a 49.2% market share compared to the 90% in 2001. Earlier this year Telefonica was fined €150 million for its wholesale broadband pricing policies.
Since 2001, the French broadband market has moved on and many people view France with envy due to the choices of ADSL2+ and fibre based connections available in parts of the country. Though in terms of access to a basic broadband service, the UK still ranks well ahead of France.