Deutsche Telekom (DT) lost its appeal of a €12.6 million (U.S. $19.8 million) fine imposed by the European Commission (EC) in 2003, as the European Court of First Instance (ECFI) upheld the EC’s finding that DT abused its dominant market position by charging fixed line telephone competitors higher prices for wholesale network access than what DT charged its retail customers for access to the DT network. The ruling by the Luxembourgbased court could impact a similar pending case involving Telefonica of Spain, which was fined U.S. $206 million by the EC last year for charging rivals excessively high rates for wholesale access to the Telefonica broadband network. In a decision handed down in May 2003, the EC determined that DT’s wholesale pricing between the years 1998 and 2001 constituted an illegal margin squeeze that “discouraged new companies from entering the market and reduced the choice of suppliers of telecom services as well as price competition for consumers.” Contesting the EC’s decision, DT told the ECFI that it should not be subject to EC antitrust remedies as the company’s wholesale rate structure had been approved by German regulators prior to the period in question. The court, however, dismissed DT’s appeal on grounds that the actions of German regulators did not absolve DT from its obligations under EU competition law. The EC applauded the ECFI for confirming that, “dominant operators who have a regulatory obligation to supply access to their networks cannot evade this obligation through a margin squeeze price policy.”