According to El Economista, the autonomous communities of Andalusia and Madrid have fined the incumbent €6.23 million and €30,000 respectively for the €5 additional charge it announced for the service in March 2015.
FACUA subsequently filed a complaint and while welcoming Andalusia’s decision to act against a “massive fraud” affecting 4 million customers in Spain said the fine was small compared to the amounts charged by Telefónica.
In Andalusia, the fine – €870,000 for misleading advertising and unfair terms, and €5.36 million for illegal charging – is dwarfed by the €630 million the telco made from successive price increases, of which over €110 million came from Andalusian customers and around €70 million from the first increase.
FACUA has also called the €30,000 fine imposed on Telefónica by the autonomous community of Madrid “ridiculous”. In addition, it estimates that the first price increase netted the telco around €55 million in the Spanish capital.
The price increases to Movistar Fusión came into effect May 2015 (€5), January 2016 (€3) and between €2 and €5 in July this year. A further rise of €5 is due in February 2017.
FACUA says that the lack of action by the Spanish government has forced it to take legal action. A case, involving over 4,000 of its members, is currently being heard in Commercial Court Number 8 in Madrid.
A favourable judgment could see Telefónica being forced to revert back to the prices it was charging for Movistar Fusión before May 2015 and return all the additional money it has charged its customers.