The Belgian Competition Council has fined Belgian mobile telephone provider Proximus EUR 66 million, the biggest fine ever given by the Council. During the years 2004 and 2005, Proximus charged its big corporate clients such low rates for its services that these activities resulted in a negative profit margin for Proximus and were fatally loss-making.
These rates were even inferior to the wholesale rates that Proximus’ competitors had to pay to allow their clients to make calls through the Proximus network, resulting in a price squeeze that prevented competitors from entering this market segment. In 2005, two competitors lodged complaints about these practices with the Belgian Competition Council, which provoked a formal investigation and dawn raids in 2006.
Proximus has announced that it will lodge an appeal with the Belgian Courts against the fine.