September 20, 2020

1.8 million fine for Vodafone for breaching roaming regulations | Economy

1.8 million fine for Vodafone for breaching roaming regulations | Economy



The Supreme Court has fined 1.8 million euros to Vodafone for breaking the rules of roaming, the service that allows you to use your mobile abroad. The Contentious-Administrative Chamber has set at 1,869,288 euros the sanction imposed on the operator for automatically associating to the national price plans RED and Base the roaming rate "Speak and navigate in Europe", without offering the client the possibility to choose European rates or any other roaming alternative. The Contentious-Administrative Chamber considers that Vodafone has committed a serious breach of article 77.17 of the General Telecommunications Law (LGT) of 2014 for failing to comply with the conditions for the provision of services or the operation of electronic communications networks.

The sanction imposed by the Supreme Court, which is already firm, is somewhat higher than the one imposed by the National Court but much lower than the initial fine. set by the National Commission of Markets and Competition on April 24, 2014. This body had opened a sanctioning procedure to the operator for breaching the European regulation of roaming by linking for seven months (between November 2012 and June 2013) automatically a roaming tariff different from the regulated eurotariff. According to Competence, this practice reported to Vodafone 128% more gross income than those that had entered by applying the regulated tariff. The procedure opened in this body ended with a fine of 3,116,000 euros. The company appealed and the Court reduced the amount of the fine to 1,557,740 euros on the understanding that it was more beneficial for the sanctioned company to apply the General Telecommunications Law of 2014, which qualifies the infringement as serious, compared to 2013 he considers it very serious.

Now, the Supreme Court has partially estimated the appeal of the State Bar and has changed the sanction again, although, this time, 300,000 euros on the rise. The high court has applied the aggravating circumstances of the responsibility contemplated in the General Telecommunications Act of 2014 for the high profits obtained by the company, the seven months that the infringement lasted, the damage caused to 150,000 customers and the lack of compensation for the damage when the refund of the amounts does not appear.

But, on the other hand, the Chamber has also applied the mitigation of the responsibility of the General Law of Telecommunications when considering that Vodafone complied with the precautionary measure imposed by the Council of the Market Commission of the Competition in the sanctioning procedure. The operator stopped automatically associating the roaming tariff in question with the RED and Base national price plans, "without the need for new requirements and without the need for the Commission to adopt additional measures to achieve the implementation of the agreement, the untying of the roaming fee ".

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