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French mobile operators hit with antitrust fines

Friday - 12/14/2012, 7:08am  ET

PARIS (AP) -- France's competition watchdog has slapped EUR183 million ($239 million) in fines on the country's two top mobile operators for anti-competitive pricing policies between 2005 and 2008.

The Autorite de Concurrence said Thursday that Orange and SFR had abused their dominant market positions and hurt the country's number three operator, Bouygues Telecom. Specifically the watchdog cited the policy of offering unlimited calls between subscribers of one network, which it said threw up an unjustified barrier to free competition among operators.

Orange, whose parent company France Telecom was fined a combined EUR117.4 million, and SFR, which was fined EUR65.7 million, both said they would appeal the decision.

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