Dominant French mobile operators Orange and SFR have been hit with a compensation claim from their diminutive rivals after a court ruled their offer of free calls was anti-competitive. Between 2005 and 2008 Orange and SFR offered customers free calls within the same network, forcing third-position operator Bouygues to offer loss …
Bouygues has always been an "also ran"
Rubbish coverage would be a more likely reason for people not switching to them.
Bouygues were the first to offer unlimited free calls to new subscribers around the new
millennium. The deals were caps at a few 10 000s of subscribers but they did start the trend
so I can't see how they one this case.
It was a very limited offer, at least as far as SFR were concerned. You could nominate three SFR numbers, and calls to them wouldn't be deducted from your monthly minutes. Hardly seems to be a big uncompetitive feature.
"One might argue that Orange and SFR should be allowed to offer free calls within their own networks. "
Of course they should. Anti-competative my arse. The complainers are gutted because they can't mtach the offer. Preventing free calls is hardly good for the consumer who the law should be protecting.
They should, yes, but not if its predatory pricing.
I don't know the corporate position of the also rans or SFR but if the deals were loss leading and the losses were funded from group profits (say FTs landline business) is could well be anti competitive. Vodafone and BT were regulated to deliver the market we have in the uk today ( though I guess it's moot if the out turn for the consumer is better as a result). In an practical oligopoly it's important to protect smaller players from bullying.
It was BOC's predatory pricing that caused Air Products to be encouraged into the UK.
> if the deals were loss leading
loss-leaders are illegal under French consumer law. Selling goods below cost price is only allowed in certain closely-regulated situations.
Seems odd to me. A company should be allowed to sell at a loss if it wishes. They should also go back and look at the term "monopoly" in the dictionary, as none of the phone operators have a monopoly in France. You can't have a monopoly with your own customers, that's just moronic and illogical.
This sort of nonsense puts people off doing business in France, that's for sure. I know I won't be!
Re: French law?
"This sort of nonsense puts people off doing business in France, that's for sure. I know I won't be!"
Please feel free to ignore the 5th largest economy in the world. Leaves more for those of us who don't have your strange prejudice.