Paris, 17 December 2010
The French Postal and electronic communications regulatory authority, ARCEP, is making public the decision it issued in response to a complaint that France Telecom filed against SFR on 19 August 2010.
Background and subject of the complaint
As part of its business operations in the traffic collection market for calls to VAS (value-added service) numbers, France Telecom purchases a call origination service from fellow carrier SFR when SFR customers call VAS numbers for which France Telecom collects the traffic. SFR bills France Telecom for this call origination service with a mark-up referred to as a VAS surcharge.
France Telecom had filed a complaint, claiming that the rates that SFR was charging for its call origination service and the associated VAS surcharge were not reasonable, and appealed to ARCEP to settle the dispute.
The ARCEP decision
The Authority recognised the merits of the complaint concerning SFR's VAS surcharge. As a result, SFR must invoice France Telecom the same VAS surcharge that France Telecom has been ordered to charge SFR for the same service, in other words a maximum 0.0144 eurocents a minute, excl. VAT, in accordance with Decision no. 2010-1254 of 25 November 2010, and taking effect as of 13 March 2009.
As to the call origination tariff, ARCEP ruled that it was not reasonable for SFR to have been charging the same rate since 1 October 2008, as it meant that SFR had not passed on the efficiency gains achieved since then. SFR is therefore ordered to set the tariffs it charges France Telecom in such a way as to reflect the efficiency gains generated since 1 January 2007, in other words a maximum 0.89 eurocents a minute, excl. VAT, from 16 to 30 September 2009, then a maximum 0.84 eurocents a minute, excl. VAT, from 1 October 2009 to 30 September 2010 and, finally, a maximum 0.79 eurocents a minute, excl. VAT, from 1 October 2010 onwards.
ARCEP Decision no. 2010-1351 (pdf - 131 Ko) of 14 December 2010, ruling in response to a request to settle a dispute between France Telecom and SFR (in French only - )