Paris, 4 February 2000
In its decision no. 99-605 dated 28 July 1999, ART had informed France Telecom of its complaints regarding the non respect of the conditions for allocating the digit 8 for carrier selection, as per the procedures set out in the management rules of the national numbering plan approved by decision no. 98-75 dated 3 February 1998. ART considered that France Telecom’s use of the digit 8 for the marketing of long distance telephone service by Cofinoga, does not conform with the provisions of decision no. 97-196 dated 16 July 1997, regarding the methods of allocating a carrier selection digit. In the case of the Cofinoga offer, the digit 8 for carrier selection is not used to select an operator’s transport network, but to select a distributor and is therefore used improperly. ART also noted that prior to the implementation of pre-selection, France Telecom was the only operator to simultaneously offer its customers two long-distance telephone offers which could be accessed on a call-by-call basis: one through direct marketing using the digit 0, and one via indirect marketing with the digit 8.
After considering France Telecom’s response to its list of complaints, ART considered, in decision no. 99-1144 adopted 22 December 1999, that there was no cause to remove from France Telecom the digit 8 for carrier selection.
Indeed, ART noted that France Telecom’s indirect marketing offer using the 8 did not have any major share of the long-distance telephone market in 1999. It also noted that the introduction of carrier pre-selection on 17 January 2000 will contribute significantly to establishing balanced competition on the market.
According to article L.34-10 of the Post and Telecommunications Code and paragraphs 3.4.2 and 3.4.3 of decision no. 98-75, ART can only repeal or not repeal its decision to assign the digit 8 for carrier selection.
ART considered that it would be contrary to the interest of consumers to prevent France Telecom subscribers having chosen a competing long-distance operator, from selecting France Telecom on a call-by-call basis, at the very moment when pre-selection is about to be introduced on 17 January 2000. Moreover, such a decision could prevent France Telecom subscribers from pre-selecting competing operators.
ART is prepared to study and adopt—in consultation with operators—desirable regulatory and technical modifications which would expand the conditions of using carrier selection mechanisms, in particular to allow an operator to sell its customers both pre-selection offers and call-by-call selection offers.
Decision no. 99-1144 dated 22 December 1999 (pdf - 28 Ko) (French Version )