Belgian mobile operator fined for exploiting market dominance

The Belgian competition authority has fined mobile operator Proximus €66.3 million for abusing its dominant market position. Telecompaper reports. Proximus' parent company is the incumbent, Belgacom.

In the period 2002 to 2005, Proximus offered business customers substantial discounts that resulted in its prices coming in lower than the wholesale rates offered to other operators and MVNOs, the regulator found.

The investigation resulted from a complaint by rival mobile operator Base in October 2005, which Mobistar and MVNOs also later joined. Base said Proximus' pricing forced it to exit the business market, and the mobile operator hopes to use the regulatory ruling to file a damages claim.

Base earlier estimated its damages at up to €1 billion and has called for further action by telecoms regulator BIPT and the competition authority.