Brussels fines Altice €125 million over PT purchase

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The European Commission has fined Altice €125 million for buying Portugal Telecom without first receiving authorisation from the European authorities. Altice to appeal.


The European Commission is to fine Altice €125 million for buying PT Portugal before getting the green light from Brussels.

PT Portugal was bought from Oi in 2015. Oi, previously called Telemar,is a Brazilian telecoms service concession, the fourth largest mobile phone operator in that country.

In 2010 Oi bought Portugal Telecom but sold off the asset in 2015 to the Dutch telecoms giant Altice in an operation worth €5.7Bn. The operation did not get immediate approval from the European Union which in May 2017 opened an inquiry.

A statement from the EU reads, “The companies acted prematurely before receiving an authorisation notification, prejudicing the Monopolies Control System which protects European consumers from eventual monopolies that could result in price increases or limits on offer.”

The European Commission therefore decided to apply a €125m fine to Altice which “reflects the gravity of the infraction and aims to dissuade other companies from infringing on EU rules in matters concerning monopolies control”.

Altice has stated that it will appeal the decision. “Altice totally disagrees with the European Commission decision”, states the company in a communiqué published on its website and says it will ask the EU General Court to annul the decision or significantly reduce the amount of the fine.