The Commission imposed fines of approximately 67 MEUR on Telefónica and of 12 MEUR on Portugal Telecom for agreeing not to compete with each other on the Iberian telecommunications market, in breach of Article 101 TFEU. Both of the fined companies are the largest telecommunication operators in their domestic markets. The Commission found that in July 2010, in the context of the acquisition by Telefónica of the Brazilian mobile operator Vivo, which was until then jointly owned by Telefónica and Portugal Telecom, the parties inserted a clause in the contract indicating that they would not compete with each other in Spain and Portugal as of the end of September 2010. Thus, the parties deliberately agreed to stay out of each other’s home markets. The parties terminated the non-compete agreement after the Commission opened its investigation in January 2011. In setting the level of fines, the Commission took into account the duration of the infringement (4 months) and its gravity, including the fact that the agreement was not kept secret by the parties. The early termination of the agreement was also taken into account by the Commission as a mitigating circumstance. Source: Commission Press Release 23/01/2013
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Commission fines Telefónica and Portugal Telecom 79 MEUR for illegal non-compete contract clause
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