Sweden’s pan-European alternative operator Tele2 yesterday announced its intention to up its legal claim for damages against former monopoly Telefónica O2 Czech Republic (formerly Cesky Telecom) to CZK2.14 billion (EUR74 million). Tele2 filed its original claim with the Municipal Court in Prague in February 2005, following its repeated complaints to the competition authority over the incumbent’s practices. In November 2005 the competition authority fined Telefónica O2 CR CZK205 million for abusing its dominant market position by offering free minutes with its retail telephony services, which Tele2 claims left it struggling to sign up residential customers and pre-empted its decision in early 2006 to exit the country. The Swedish firm is increasing its claim for damages following the rejection of the former monopoly’s appeal against another decision by the competition authority which found its retail pricing structure to be damaging to alternative operators.
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