Monday, December 31, 2007

Slovak - Monopolist fined

Slovak Telekom Fined Again

Telecommunications operator Slovak Telekom (ST) is to pay a fine of Sk525.8 million (€15.64 million) for abusing its dominant position in the market, reports Hospodarske Noviny daily.

According to the Antimonopoly Bureau (PMU), which has levied the penalty, the company harmed its competitors by squeezing margins, as in 2005 and 2006 ST charged Sk1 (€0.03) for 30-minute calls in its network and provided some calls free of charge.

The Office said that alternative, small-scale operators were unable to offer prices comparable to those of ST, given their obligation to pay ST charges for connection in ST's network.

Slovak Telekom said that it would appeal against the ruling. According to the company, it's facing an inappropriate pressure from PMU. In addition, it's the Telecommunications Office that is to supervise over fairness of practices employed by competing companies, reads a statement issued by the company.

[Slovak Telekom has made a successful appeal against previous two fines which were imposed on it in October 2006 and September 2007, as the court later overturned the regulatory office's decisions and cancelled the penalties.]

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