Paris, 24 July 2007
In its ruling dated 20 June 2007, the French Supreme Administrative Court, the Conseil d’État, rejected the appeal from Free asking it "to overturn the decision by the Minister for Industry setting the financial conditions for granting third generation mobile licences in mainland France" and "to require the Minister for Industry and ARCEP each to take appropriate measures in order to abandon the current licence application process and to establish a new procedure for the process of applying for third generation mobile licences in mainland France".
The Supreme Court in fact found Free’s appeal to be inadmissible on the grounds that "the opinion of the Minister for the Economy, Finance and Industry concerning the financial terms and conditions for the granting of third generation mobile licences in mainland France, as published in the Official Journal of the French Republic on 8 March 2007, states that the final decision concerning the amount of the fee due for granting the licence, the essential aspects of which are fixed by law, will be taken when the specifications accompanying the licence are adopted" and that therefore "any decision taken by the Minister in question cannot be deemed to be prejudicial to the appellant, since the financial terms and conditions will only be decided on the basis of the specifications."
ARCEP, which referred in its press release of 8 March 2007 to the Minister’s opinion concerning these financial conditions, is very happy with this ruling, which allows it to continue with the licence application procedure which was launched on 8 March 2007.
ARCEP reminds potential applicants that their applications must be submitted by 12 noon on 31 July 2007.
The Conseil d’État’s ruling (pdf - 849 Ko) can be downloaded