EU Fines Telefônica, Portugal Telecom $89M

EU antitrust regulators on Tuesday reimposed fines worth 79 million euros ($89 million) against Telefonica and Pharol, formerly known as Portugal Telecom, after previous antitrust fines were rejected by Europe’s top court in 2018.

Telefonica’s new fine totalled 66.89 million euros, the same amount as that imposed in 2013, while Pharol was fined 12.15 million, slightly lower than 2013’s 12.29 million, the European Commission said in a statement.

The EU watchdog had fined the pair in 2013 for an illegal deal not to compete with each other in the Iberian telecommunications markets.

The companies then argued in court that regulators had erred in calculating the fine amount for markets where they did not compete with each other.

The EU Court of Justice and General Court found they had breached antitrust rules but backed their arguments about the size of the fine, forcing regulators to re-assess the case.

“Today’s decision takes full account of the General Court’s judgment,” the EU executive, which acts as the competition enforcer for the bloc, said.

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