back to article Vodafone slings sueball at Dutch telco alleging anti-competitive conduct

Vodafone has initiated legal proceedings against Netherlands-based telco KPN, with the claim that the latter's business practices have affected competition and consumer choice in the country. The Dutch incumbent has been accused by the mobile giant of failing to deliver the technology needed for Voda to debut its rival TV, …

  1. Your alien overlord - fear me

    "Other operators without the benefits of this nationwide fixed-line infrastructure must rely on KPN’s network in order to compete."

    Oh, I don't know. Perhaps incoming companies can invest billions of Euros over 50 years plus to set up their own infrastructure (plus staff, training, vans etc.).

    What? It'll cost too much? Well, if you want a service why rely on others to do the heavy work when you can do it yourself.

    It seems Voda's business plan is based on the hyena. Wait for someone else to do the dirty work (lions,cheetahs etc.) and then bully their way in to get the benefits.

    1. Oh Matron!

      Has similarities to the UK and Sky's incessant whining about BT

    2. n0r0imusha

      or maybe

      or maybe just makes sure there is a possibility of investment, in the UK legislations lobbied by BT make it incredibly hard to make you own network and repeatedly lock people out so the only option is Virtually unbundled service on a price set by BT ,

    3. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      The initial investmen was most likely tax-finansed, and then the subscribers were milked for decade after decade, paying for the investment many, many times over. But the subscribers didn't get ownership, and are unable to say, yes please, I'd like to have this other service on the infrastructure payed by us all. Nah.. Instead the utility company made sure of having a monopoly for decades, milking its captive consumers with artifically inflated prices.

      In some contries, the consumers then got the "privilege" of bying stock in the utility company they had already payed for, taking a risk on future stock pricing.

      So it's hard to feel sorry for these monopolies.

      I still have to pay some £150 or so to the damn monopoly each year for some copper crap.

    4. Fatman Silver badge

      Nationwide Infrastructure

      <quote>"Other operators without the benefits of this nationwide fixed-line infrastructure must rely on KPN’s network in order to compete."</quote>

      My recollection of the introduction of electricity and telephone service in many parts of 'Merika in the late 1800's was the duplication of investment in infrastructure was an undesirable event. Municipalities did NOT want multiple sets of:

      water lines

      sewer lines

      electric lines, and

      telephone lines

      so the concept of a regulated monopoly was introduced. This worked well for quite some time, but in more recent years, breaking up these monopolies has been the focus of activists.

      One would expect the incumbent to want to continue to 'milk that cow' until it runs dry, and do everything possible to prevent a competitor from taking hold.

      That is where the (fixed wire) infrastructure that provides the service needs to disconnected from the service provider (KPN). KPN should be required to divest itself of the fixed wire infrastructure, and become a service provider only who, like its competitors, must """rent"""" the infrastructure.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      KPN was part of PTT. PTT was government owned. Most of the infrastructure was paid for by the Dutch taxpayers. Billions of good old Guilders. That's why the infrastructure KPN has inherited must be open to other parties.

      On a side note. Ziggo now owns nearly all cable connections in the netherlands, most of which were also paid for by the Dutch taxpayers. But that infrastructure is closed to other parties.

      Doesn't make sense

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        and on a side side note Ziggo is owned by Liberty Global who also own Virgin Media in the UK who own most of the cable infrastructure there.

    6. Richard Bijster

      I think you'll find that KPN never invested billions over 50 years. It was actually the Dutch taxpayer that invested billions over 50 years. After all that public investment the PTT was privatised, or rather sold off on the cheap, just like British Telecom. So, your assumption that KPN as a private company invested billions of Euros over 50 years plus to set up their own infrastructure (plus staff, training, vans etc.) is completely wrong. The current set up gives KPN a very unfair advantage in the market, an unfair advantage that it has been abusing for years here in The Netherlands. KPN's position in The Netherlands can be directly compared to BT Openreach's abuse of its position in the UK market.

  2. chivo243 Silver badge

    Bigger is not always better

    An old colleague knows some guys at KPN, I heard there is too much corporate bureaucracy, never easy to get the right thing done in a timely fashion.

    It's always difficult to know when companies are just crying in their beer, or have a real case against the other party. Business is business, right?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This large scale suing sounds so TTIP-like, it's a good job that I'm totally in favor of it, whatever it is.

    Meanwhile . . . back at the ranch

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pot. Kettle. Black.

    Vodafone's Netherlands' chief, Rob Shuter, said: "KPN has repeatedly failed to deliver on its commitments and has instead seriously abused its dominant position..

    As per the title, you couldn't make this shit up.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pot. Kettle. Black.

      Yup. Well said.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Netherlands based Telco KPN"

    Doesn't The Register's standard style guide require this to be written 'former state monopoly'?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If only Vodafone could conceive of some other way of reaching all these customers and delivering data to them. Maybe some kind of high speed wireless network?

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