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Spanish Networks Fined $159 Million for Overcharges on Text Messages

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Spain's three largest mobile networks have been collectively fined EUR120 million (USD159 million) by the country's Competition Commission after it decided that they have been overcharging for text messages.

The CNC opened its investigation in January 2011 and later charged the three mobile network operators with abuse of dominant position in the wholesale markets for access and origination and for termination of short messages in their respective networks. 

Contrary to the situation for wholesale termination services for voice calls, the markets for the wholesale short messaging termination services provided by each of these operators were not regulated during the period examined (2000-2009). 

The CNC found that this allowed the three mobile network operators to freely price the termination of short messages at very high levels throughout the reference period.

As a result, it has imposed fines of EUR45.6 million on Telefonica, EUR 43.5 million on Vodafone and EUR 30 million on Orange.

All three networks have said that they will appeal against the fines.

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Tags: sms  text message  Spain