The ARCEP published a press release on 12 March 2013 by which it declared having informed the Public Prosecutor of a potential breach committed by SKYPE regarding its duty to declare itself as an electronic communication operator in France. Under Article L33-1 of the French Post and Electronic Communications Code, the carry out of an electronic communications operator activity requires a prior declaration to the ARCEP. Any breach of this duty constituted a criminal offence.
The SKYPE company did not declare itself whereas its activity consists in offering to the Internet users a software allowing them to make phones calls from or to a terminal connected to the Internet to fixed and mobile numbers located in France or abroad.
The ARCEP considers that this service consists in providing a phone service to the public and implies the compliance with certain duties, such as the conveyance of emergency calls and the implementation of the necessary means to realize judicial interceptions.
The ARCEP, after having unsuccessfully required from SKYPE that it declares itself, informed the Public Prosecutor of Paris of these facts, which may prove to be of criminal nature.