Saturday, July 29, 2006

The ITT Promedia/Begacom excessive pricing case

by James Packard Love
This 1998 Competition Policy Newsletter describes the TT Promedia/Begacom excessive pricing case as follows:
Upon a complaint by ITT Promedia, the Belgian directory-publishing subsidiary of the US ITT World Directories company, the Commission investigated into Belgacom’s prices for access to subscriber data for the publication of telephone directories. The complainant alleged that the prices charged by the Belgian incumbent telecommunications operator were excessive and discriminatory in the sense of Article 86 EC-Treaty. The Commission carried out an assessment of the prices charged, with the support of an expert auditing firm, and insisted in fully implementing the cost-orientation principle. After the Commission had sent out a formal statement of objections at the end of 1995, Belgacom finally agreed, in a settlement with the Commission, to a substantial reduction (by more than 90%) of these prices by dropping any variable component in relation to the turnover or profit of directory publishers. Following the complainant withdrawing its complaint, this procedure was terminated by the Commission in April 1997 (cf. Press Release IP/97/292 of 11.4.1997).


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