On 20 December 2012, the Spanish Competition Commission (CNC) announced that it has imposed fines of €120 million on three mobile phone operators (TELEFONICA, VODAFONE and ORANGE).

Although the CNC has not yet published its decision and the press release is not very precise, it seems that the CNC has found that the three companies have abused their collective dominant position in the markets related to sms (short text messages).

This is the largest fine ever imposed by the CNC in a single case together with the fine imposed in 2009 in the construction insurance cartel which also amounted to €120 million.

The total level of fines imposed by the CNC in Spain during 2012 now amounts to €365 million, representing an increase of 30% as compared with the total amount of fines imposed in 2011 (€260 million).

After this large fine, fines relating to abuses of dominance in 2012 in Spain amount to almost 50% of the total fines, the remaining amount being related basically to cartel agreements.