MADRID, 10 Mar. (EUROPA PRESS) -
The National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC) has sanctioned Telefónica with 6 million euros for breaching commitments acquired and accepted by the operator after the acquisition of DTS in 2015, the body chaired by Cani Fernández has reported.
These commitments, with an initial validity until April 2020, were extended by the CNMC in July 2020 for an additional period of three years. Recently, the National Court, through a ruling of February 8, 2023, validated the CNMC's decision to extend these commitments.
The authorization of the concentration operation between Telefónica and DTS was conditional on compliance with the commitments proposed by the operator and approved by the CNMC on April 22, 2015.
One of the commitments established that Telefónica cannot apply to its pay television customers conditions or practices that tend to hinder their mobility, such as the inclusion of permanence obligations.
In this sense, the CNMC considers that the conditions of the Movistar Fusión packaged commercial offer with rental of a smartphone (valid from April 11, 2021 to August 1, 2021), violated this commitment by considering it a permanence policy indirectly associated with pay television.
"All customers who contracted the Movistar Fusión products since their launch on April 11, 2021 -both new customers and Telefónica customers who migrated from other products-, were subject to the conditions of permanence and penalties for early cancellation during the period of 36 months that the contract imposed", points out Competition.
For the agency, this commercial offer meant, at least until August 1, 2021, "a limitation on the mobility" of Telefónica's pay television customers who contracted this service through Fusión, "restricting" their ability to hire similar services with other competing operators of Telefónica.
For the CNMC, failure to comply with the provisions of the merger commitments is a "very serious" infringement and for this reason it imposes a fine of 6 million euros on Telefónica.
The CNMC recalls that a contentious-administrative appeal may be filed directly against this resolution before the National Court within a period of two months from the day following its notification.