EC fines Telekomunikacja Polska S.A € 127 million for abuse of dominant position

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The European Commission has imposed a fine of €127 554 194 on telecoms operator Telekomunikacja Polska S.A. (TP) for abusing its dominant position in the Polish market in breach of EU antitrust rules (Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU). As a dominant company TP is under an obligation to allow remunerated access to its network and wholesale broadband services in order to allow the effective entry of alternative operators on downstream broadband markets. But it consistently refused to do so or made it difficult for more than four years. Commission Vice-President Joaquín Almunia said: “the Commission cannot allow the development of the Internet and of the digital economy to be put at risk by anticompetitive practices. This case shows our determination to ensure that dominant telecom operators do not systematically hinder competitors who can make a real difference in the market to the benefit of consumers and businesses“. In order to provide broadband Internet access to end-users, new market entrants (alternative operators) can either build an alternative access network, which is usually not economically viable, or use the network of the incumbent operator, in the present case Telekomunikacja Polska (TP). To use the incumbent’s network, operators need to acquire wholesale broadband access products, namely wholesale broadband access and local loop unbundling. In Poland, these are exclusively provided by TP, on which alternative operators are dependent to compete on the retail market. Here to read more.

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