Paris, 17 December 2015
French Competition Authority Decision No. 15-D-20, which was published today, condemns Orange for anti-competitive practices in digital connectivity markets for businesses.
The markets for digital connectivity products designed for businesses, public agencies and associations are a pillar of the French economy's digitisation process. As a result, their sound development is a core issue for ARCEP, and a priority area of focus in the Authority's ongoing strategic review.
Naturally, these enterprise markets are evolving more slowly towards a situation of full competition. There are greater obstacles to switching operators than in residential markets. Orange therefore continues to enjoy a dominant position in this market, and its anti-competitive practices are particularly unacceptable. This is the view expressed in ARCEP Opinion No. 2013-0802, which was submitted to the Competition Authority during the investigative period in 2013.
In its decision, the Competition Authority concludes that the Orange market practices at issue impeded competition, and enabled the incumbent carrier to maintain its dominant position artificially through:
- contractual clauses in fixed and mobile retail market agreements aimed at securing the loyalty of enterprise customers, and creating strong retention mechanisms;
- discrimination between the Orange retail subsidiary and competing operators.
ARCEP welcomes the injunctions attached to the Competition Authority's decision, which will help create a more smooth-running market.
In addition, Orange will be required to introduce "a system that guarantees that operators are provided with information on the copper local loop that derives from the same sources, within the same time frame, under the same conditions and with an identical level of reliability and performance as those provided to its own sales and marketing divisions". At the behest of the Competition Authority, ARCEP is tasked with ensuring compliance with this injunction.
ARCEP Opinion No. 2013-0802 of 11 June 2013, issued in response to a request from the Competition Authority, and relating to the practices engaged in by France Telecom - Orange in the non-residential mobile telephony market (pdf - 836 Ko) (pdf - in French only)
Competition Authority Decision No. 15-D-20 of 17 December 2015 on market practices in the electronic communications sector (pdf - in French only)
Competition Authority press release
The last observatory on Business Market (pdf - 0.98 Mo) (pdf - in French only - published in january 2015)
ARCEP's strategic review