The German telecom giant and its Slovak business unit are both still liable, according to the court.
Reuters has reported that Europe’s top court on Thursday dismissed appeals by Deutsche Telekom and its Slovak unit against an antitrust fine levied nearly a decade ago by EU antitrust enforcers.
The original decision in 2014 said that both companies were liable for actions to crush competitors in the Slovakian telecoms market. Deutsche Telekom snapped up the remaining 49 per cent of Slovak Telekom it did not already own in 2015, a year after it was first hit the fine.
The company said at the time the market helped its ambitions to be a leading integrated pan-European operator, providing fixed-line telephony and broadband, and mobile services in the country.
The fines and the culpability “remain unchanged”
The EU watchdog said the two had charged unfair wholesale prices in Slovakia to squeeze out broadband competitors in a practice known as margin squeeze that lasted more than five years starting from 2005.
The operators however decided to appeal to the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on points of law. The CJEU threw out the appeals and kept the reduced fines for the companies.
“The fine of 38 061 963 euros, for which those two companies were found jointly and severally liable, and the fine of 19 030 981 euros, for which only Deutsche Telekom was found liable, therefore remain unchanged,” the CJEU said.