Paris, 16 January 2002
In its decision no. 02-34 dated 9 January 2002, ART fined France Telecom €5 million, in application of article L.36-11 of the Post and Telecommunications Code, for failing to execute ART decision no. 00-1194 dated 15 November 2000 ruling on the dispute between Sonera France and France Telecom regarding access to France Telecom's network to provide a telephone information service.
According to the terms of article L. 36-11 2 of the Post and Telecommunications Code, "When a network operator or service provider does not comply with a decision taken in application of article L. 36-8 […] within the established deadline, Autorité de régulation des télécommunications may apply one of the following sanctions: […] b/ If the default does not constitute a criminal offence, a fine, of an amount proportionate to the seriousness of the default and to the advantages gained through it, of no more than 3% of the sales excluding VAT of the previous closed financial period, increased to 5% if the same obligation is violated".
In this case, ART noted the seriousness of the default of which France Telecom is accused, which involves not only a 180 day delay in executing decision no. 00-1194 dated 15 November 2000, but also its refusal to execute article 2 of said decision. This article states that France Telecom must provide a third party billing service, upon request by Sonera France, while Sonera's originating and terminating traffic may be carried by a third party operator.
The amount of the fine takes into account the seriousness of the charge and the advantage France Telecom gained on the telephone enquiry and call completion services market in 2001 as a result of its default.
ART's decision n° 02-34 (pdf - 67 Ko) dated 9 January 2002