Spanish telecoms regulator the Comision Nacional de Mercados y Competencia (CNMC) has announced fines for both Telefonica Espana and Yoigo related to what it claims is an anti-competitive roaming agreement between the duo. In a press release confirming the development the regulator revealed that the fines for the two companies totalled EUR6.3 million (USD6.9 million), though Telefonica is liable for the bulk – EUR6.0 million – of that figure, with Yoigo facing a EUR300,000 penalty. Such disparate figures, the CNMC noted, were proportionate to the size and capacity of both companies, while also representing ‘the level of blame and responsibility’.
In announcing the fines, the CNMC specified its discontent with the current agreement between the pair struck back in 2008, which it noted prevents Yoigo from reselling capacity on Telefonica’s network to third parties. Such a situation, the watchdog argued, hinders Yoigo’s ability to work with mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) and constitutes a restriction of competition ‘without sufficient objective justification’. Meanwhile, with regards to the recent update to the agreement between the two operators reached in mid-2013 which allowed Yoigo to access Telefonica’s 4G network, the CNMC said that this ‘restricts competition by limiting the coverage and quality independence’ between the pair, while representing ‘a reduction of competitive pressure in relation to the use of 4G networks’.
According to the CNMC its ruling on the matter cannot be appealed through administrative channels, although it did note that Telefonica or Yoigo would be allowed to seek judicial review proceedings in the High Court, as long such action was taken within two months of the ruling.