Telefonica SA (TEF) and Portugal Telecom SGPS SA (PTC), the biggest telephone companies in Spain and Portugal, were fined 79 million euros ($105 million) by European Union regulators for agreeing not to compete in each other’s home country.
The European Commission fined Telefonica 66.9 million euros and told Portugal Telecom to pay 12.3 million euros for an illegal non-compete contract clause, regulators said in an e- mail today. The companies struck the deal not to compete with each other in Spain and Portugal when Telefonica agreed in 2010 to buy Portugal Telecom’s stake in Brazil’s Vivo Participacoes SA. They ended the non-compete deal in February 2011.
“We will not tolerate anticompetitive practices by incumbents to protect their home markets as they harm consumers and delay market integration,” EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in the statement.
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