KPN Seeks Redress in Belgium as German Authorities to Investigate T-Mobile and Vodafone
German anti-trust authorities are set to investigate mobile operators T-Mobile and Vodafone following accusations of market abuse by KPN. In a statement, KPN said the German Federal Cartel Office has opened proceedings against the other two players for abusing their dominant position. Similarly, KPN is hoping that the Competition Council in Belgium will adopt the position of the College of Prosecutors on a similar abuse case involving Belgacom’s Proximus unit. KPN had complained to authorities in both Belgium and Germany, asking for a discussion on mobile termination rates, for a fair allocation of frequencies, pricing for fixed to mobile connections, and certain abusive tariff plans by the market leaders. “The actions now taken by the competition authorities both in Germany and Belgium confirm our belief that the dominant providers are engaging in anti-competitive behaviour on both the Belgium and German market,” said Stan Miller, CEO of KPN Mobile International. KPN owns Belgium’s third-largest mobile operator, Base, and German player, E-Plus.
Significance: If the investigation in both Belgium and Germany succeeds, the authorities will most likely impose fines on the operators at fault. KPN will be hoping to use the cases to argue for a better treatment for its units in both countries.