France Fines Mobile Operators For Price-Fixing

from the we-were-just-hanging-out,-really dept

What do Paris’ five-star hotels and French mobile operators have in common? The French government says they’ve colluded to raise prices. While the six hotels were fined just 709,000 euros, the country’s competition council dropped a record fine of 534 million euros on the three operators. The council says the operators exchanged monthly figures on customers signing up and dropping their subscriptions and that from 2000 to 2002, they had an agreement to stabilize market share, resulting in harmonized strategies and pricing. In addition to the fine, which at least one of the operators says it will appeal, the decision opens the companies up to the equivalent of class-action suits from consumers. Proving collusion is quite a feat, but regulators around the world are beginning to take notice of anti-competitive and anti-consumer behavior by operators, whether it’s through illegal activity, or legal, but still slightly underhanded, means.

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