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Offices Raided in Investigation into European Market for Internet Access

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A number of European telecoms operators had their offices raided by European Commission officials last week as part of an investigation into the provision of Internet connectivity in several Member States.

In a statement, the Commission said that it has concerns that the companies concerned may have violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit the abuse of a dominant market position.

The Commission did not make public the names of the companies inspected at this stage, although it was widely reported that France's Orange, Germany's Deutsche Telekom and Spain's Telefonica all received visits.

Responding to the investigation, Deutsche Telekom said that it was surprised, since previous allegations have all turned out to be unfounded. Similar investigations carried out by national regulatory bodies, who have also dealt with the issue in great detail, have also been abandoned.

"Deutsche Telekom faces fierce competition on the global market for Internet traffic. This market is dominated by major providers based in the United States, which means we are not the right target for these investigations," explained a DT spokesperson.

The Commission officials were accompanied by their counterparts from the relevant national competition authorities.

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Tags: european commission  orange  telefonica  deutsche telekom  Germany  Spain  France