On 21 June 2017 the Regional Court in Bratislava issued a judgment confirming the decisions of the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic (hereafter the "Office") in the matter of abuse of a dominant position by the company Slovak Telekom. The case was handled by the Regional Court in Bratislava after the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic annulled the previous decision of the Regional Court and returned the case to the new proceedings and decision.
The Office decided in 2007 (decision No. 2007/DZ/2/1/111
- available only in Slovak) and 2009 (decision No. 2009/DZ/R/2/017
- available only in Slovak) that the company Slovak Telekom abused its dominant position in the area of providing telecommunication services through the practic of margin squeeze and bindings.
According to these decisions the company Slovak Telekom set its pricing policy on the wholesale and retail markets in such a way that alternative operators were unable to replicate the dominant´s retail products. The unlawful conduct concerned certain calling programs provided in fixed public telecommunication network as well as certain programs under which low-speed Internet services were provided.
Furthermore, the company bound unrelated services, it coupled free minutes and connection to a fixed public telecommunication network in monthly charges for call programs. It conditioned the connection of customers to the fixed public telecommunication network by purchasing voice services and it also conditioned the purchase of the Internet service of dial-up and xDSL by purchasing calling programs.
In the area of voice services, the combination of the above mentioned behavior resulted in creating barriers to market entry and after the alternative operators entered to the market, there were created conditions which prevented competition from developing. By setting such conditions the company made the entry and the existence of competitors on the market more difficult. As for the low-speed and high-speed Internet market, there was no market closure in the area of the Internet but competition was restricted.
The amount of the fine imposed by the Office exceeded EUR 17 million.
A cassation complaint against the judgement may be filed to the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic.
The abovementioned information is a simplification of the content of the decision, details about the unlawful conduct are in the justification of this decision.