July 4, 2007 / 10:04 AM / 12 years ago

EU says fines Telefonica 151.9 mln euros over ADSL

BRUSSELS, July 4 (Reuters) - Spanish telecoms firm Telefonica (TEF.MC) will have to pay 151.9 million euros ($207 million) for squeezing out rivals from the ADSL Internet market, the EU’s top antitrust authority said on Wednesday.

The European Commission said Telefonica’s wholesale prices to other Internet providers were too high in comparison to its own retail prices — a margin squeeze — which meant rivals made losses when they resold the access to ordinary consumers.

“The margin squeeze that Telefonica imposed on its competitors not only raised their costs, but also harmed customers significantly,” Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said in a statement.

“When consumers and businesses are harmed in such a major market, the entire economy suffers,” she said.

((Reporting by Sabina Zawadzki; tel: +32 2287 6813; email: sabina.zawadzki@reuters.com; RM: sabina.zawadzki.reuters.com@reuters.net))

($1=.7338 euro) Keywords: TELEFONICA EU/FINE OFFICIAL

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