The Portuguese Competition Authority has imposed a fine of €84 million on telecommunication operator MEO after it was found to have fixed the pricing on mobile and fixed telecommunications service with NOWO.
AdC says the cartel established between MEO and NOWO had resulted in higher prices and a lesser quality of service.
Following an MVNO contract between the two companies, MEO and NOWO entered into an anti-competitive agreement whereby NOWO has agreed not to launch mobile services outside the geographic areas where it provided fixed services. It meant the two companies didn’t compete in Lisbon and Porto.
NOWO also agreed with MEO not to make offers at €5 or less. NOWO also agreed to implement price increases and reduce the quality of bundled offers of fixed and mobile services.
On the other hand, MEO undertook to improve the contractual conditions of the MVNO contract with NOWO, especially with regard to the prices charged, and to solve operational problems within the scope of the execution of that contract.
The cartel was in force at least between early January and the end of November 2018, when the AdC carried out unannounced inspections at both companies’ premises.
AdC had earlier issued a Statement of Objections to MEO and NOWO on December 20, 2019, allowing the companies to respond.