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Vodafone, Orange fined 63 mn euros in Romania

BUCHAREST, Feb 15, 2011 – Romania\’s competition watchdog on Tuesday said it had fined giant mobile phone operators Orange and Vodafone a total of 63 million euros ($85 million) for abusing their dominant position.

"The Romanian competition council has fined Orange 34.8 million euros and Vodafone 28.3 million euros for abusing their dominant position," it said in a statement.

The fines amount to "about three percent of Orange and Vodafone revenues (in Romania) in 2010," the president of the competition watchdog Bogdan Chiritoiu said in a Mediafax news agency report.

Telecoms company Netmaster Communications SRL launched a complaint with the regulator in 2006, charging that France\’s Orange and Britain\’s Vodafone were not allowing it access to their networks.

According to the regulator, the two operators also tried to charge Netmaster Communications more than the authorized maximum price for interconnection to their networks.

Vodafone and Orange rejected the charges and said they would challenge the ruling in court.

Orange counts more than 10 million customers in Romania and Vodafone over nine million.

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