On 7 June 2007, the Competition Council ordered France Télécom to end its abusive exclusionary practices on the market for engineering, consultancy and checking of private telephone installations.
The complainant, Solutel offers telephone engineering services. Solutel requested interim measures and accused France Télécom of derogatory practices, having created a price barrier with the aim of preventing the expansion of the company on this market.
Certain aspects of the file show that France Télécom exerted pressure on Solutel’s customers in order to convince them to use the services of France Télécom. In certain cases France Télécom also required Solutel’s customers to pay for services that Solutel had already provided. In addition, significant delays were observed in the final connection to the telephone network of residents of estates or buildings, where Solutel had intervened.
The Council considered that the practices at stake were likely to constitute an abuse of the monopoly position held by France Télécom.
According to the Council, the practices may deter property developers or surveyor agencies from using Solutel. The Council noted that some of them had already informed Solutel of their intention to cease using Solutel’s services if the encountered problem persists.
The nature of these practices which are aimed at excluding any competitor from entering the market, justifies the granting of interim measures.
The Competition Council ordered France Télécom inter alia:
- to stop any derogatory practice towards Solutel
- to stop any practice consisting in requiring the payment of services already carried out by Solutel
Source: Decision of the Competition Council No 07-MC-03 of 7 June 2007