December 10, 2015 / 7:56 AM / 4 years ago

Vodafone sues KPN for 83 million pounds over alleged anticompetitive behaviour

Branding for Vodafone is seen on the exterior of a shop in London, Britain, September 10, 2015. REUTERS/Toby Melville

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Vodafone (VOD.L) has filed suit against KPN (KPN.AS) for alleged anticompetitive behaviour, saying it was seeking 115 million euros (83 million pounds) in damages from the Dutch company.

Vodafone said in a statement on Thursday its roll-out of a combined package including television services in the Netherlands had been delayed by three years as KPN, the former Dutch telecoms monopoly, failed to make its networks available.

KPN spokesman Stijn Wesselink said the company had not yet received a copy of Vodafone’s complaint, but it believes the British company’s portrayal of events is not accurate. “We have a professional relationship,” he said.

The launch of the lawsuit follows remarks last month by Vodafone Chief Executive Vittorio Colao, who said European competition authorities should look at whether former state telecom companies around Europe were limiting access to their networks and attempting to create what he called new monopolies.

Vodafone said that during 2011 to 2014 KPN was able to roll out its own television package, but had repeatedly failed to fulfil promises to deliver the technology that would make it possible for Vodafone to do the same.

“KPN limited Vodafone’s possibility to get significant market share during a crucial phase,” it said.

Rob Shuter, head of Vodafone’s Dutch unit, said the company had filed civil suit at the Hague District Court seeking “restitution and better behaviour by KPN in the future.”

KPN had 28 percent of the Dutch TV market at the end of the third quarter, behind cable operator Ziggo, owned by Liberty Global, with 53 percent.

Editing by Jason Neely and David Holmes

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