January 27, 2021

The Supreme Court fined Vodafone with 1.87 million for breaching the roaming regulations

The Supreme Court fined Vodafone with 1.87 million for breaching the roaming regulations


MadridUpdated:

The Supreme Court has finally fixed at almost 1.87 million euros the sanction imposed by the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC) on Vodafone for breaking the European regulation of 'roaming' by automatically linking a roaming rate to about 150,000 customers for seven months without giving them the option to choose another.

Specifically, the Contentious-Administrative Chamber has established in 1,869,288 euros the sanction imposed on Vodafone for 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 exploitation of electronic communications networks.

The reason for the fine was that the company automatically associated to the national price plans RED and Base the roaming rate 'Talk and navigate in Europe' without offering the customer the possibility to choose Eurotariffs or any other alternative roaming fee.

After opening a sanction procedure to Vodafone, the CNMC imposed on the company in April 2014 a fine of 3,116,000 euros for having breached "in a very serious manner" the conditions for the provision of fixed electronic communications services included in Law 32 / 2003, of November 3, General Telecommunications.

Subsequently, the National Court reduced the amount of the sanction to 1,557,740 euros on the understanding that it was more beneficial for the sanctioned company to apply the General Telecommunications Act of 2014, which qualifies the infringement as serious, compared to the 2013 considers very serious.

Now, the Contentious-Administrative Chamber of the Supreme Court partially upholds the appeal of the State Bar and modifies the amount of the sanction, which finally establishes 1,869,288 euros.

When quantifying it, the aggravating circumstances of the responsibility contemplated in the 2014 Law apply for the high profits obtained by the sanctioned company, the duration of the infringement (seven months), the damage caused to 150,000 customers (143,349 lines, the 13.60% of the subscribers to a tariff RED and BASE of Vodafone that had associated the tariff 'Speak and Navigate in Europe'), and the lack of damage repair when the refund of the amounts does not appear.

On the other hand, the Chamber also applies the extenuating responsibility of the LGT when considering that Vodafone complied with the precautionary measure imposed by the Council of the Market Commission of the Competition in the sanctioning procedure.

In this sense, he explains that he stopped associating automatically the roaming tariff "Speak and navigate in Europe" to the RED and Base national price plans, "without the need for new requirements and without it being necessary for the Commission to adopt additional measures to achieve the implementation of what was agreed, the unbinding of the roaming fee ».

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