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KPN fined for putting competitors at a disadvantage with regard to its business call-forwarding service

Dutch telecom company KPN is required to inform in advance competitors that use its network about what services KPN will offer to its own business customers. In addition, KPN must in a timely manner give competitors the opportunity to make a similar offer to their business customers. These requirements are to prevent unfair competition. KPN has failed to meet these requirements when it put its business call-forwarding service *21 online in the market. That is why the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) today imposed fines on KPN totaling EUR 2.7 million.

These requirements have been in force since 2009. In 2013, KPN took corrective actions. Not only did it inform its competitors about the existence of this service, it also made it available to them. In the past, KPN has already been fined several times for this type of violation including offering broadband services over the fiber-optic and copper networks, and failing to simultaneously provide tariff information regarding a public tender for fixed-telephony services for large government organizations. This is bad for competition, and, by extension, also bad for consumers and businesses. They ultimately pay the price.

Henk Don, Member of the Board of ACM, explains: “These violations had taken place before the intensified supervision on KPN was lifted on July 1, 2014. At that time, KPN indicated it would adjust its behavior.” When the intensified supervision was lifted, KPN promised to further improve its compliance program, and indicated that it is willing to learn lessons from the past and willing to develop a relationship of trust with ACM in its day-to-day operations. As a basis for this relationship, ACM and KPN agreed on a new Compliance Charter, replacing the 2008 Compliance Charter.