A European Union court rejected Deutsche Telekom’s appeal of a $20 million fine imposed by the European Commission for overcharging rivals for use of its network between 1998 and 2002. In its statement, the Court of First Instance said: “By charging its competitors prices higher than the retail prices which it charged its own end users, Deutsche Telekom abused its dominant position.”
In a statement, the commission said that Deutsche Telekom “deprived” consumers “of the benefits of choice and price competition for more than five years.”
In 2003, the European Commission said that fees set by Germany’s regulators were to high and that Deutsche Telekom needed to cut fees so smaller rivals could compete in the market. Even after fee cuts, competitors were often charged more than consumers.
Deutsche Telekom said it was not to blame as regulators set the fee prices, but the court ruled that the company “did not use the discretion which it had during the period…to reduce the margin squeeze or even to end it entirely.”