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France: Telecom seeks €2.3bn from state for failing to regulate competition

 |  December 8, 2015

Bouygues Telecom, France’s third-largest mobile telecoms network operator, wants more than 2 billion euros from the French government in compensation for alleged unfair competition following rival Iliad’s move into the mobile market in 2012, newspaper Les Echos said on Tuesday.

The Bouygues subsidiary believes that industry regulator Arcep did not adequately supervise a roaming agreement between Iliad’s Free Mobile and Orange which enabled Free to compete by using Orange’s network while it developed its own network.

Les Echos cited a letter from Bouygues to Prime Minister Manuel Valls claiming a total of 2.285 billion euros saying that a fall in revenue, margins and subscribers was down to ARCEP’s management of the contract.

“By illegally failing to regulate national roaming … Arcep enabled the development of a seriously imbalanced competitive situation in favor of Free Mobile and to the detriment mainly of Bouygues Telecom”, the newspaper quoted from the letter, which it said was signed by the operator’s chief executive Olivier Roussat.

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