Chillingleaks: European Commission investigates Telefónica and PT
It appears that DG Comp has initiated a formal investigation in relation to a possible non-compete agreement between Telefónica and Portugal Telecom. The two companies have now unofficially confirmed this news, which could become public in the next few hours.
People involved in the case have indicated that the agreement could have been entered into last July, at the time Telefónica bought PT´s shares in Vivo (a reminder: the Portuguese government had opposed this acquisition by virtue of its “golden share” in PT. Although the ECJ recently declared that the existence of such “shares” infringes the Treaty provisions on freedom of establishement, the golden share on PT is still there). The agreement is suspected to have consisted of a commitment not to compete in each other´s “home” market until December 2011.
Similar “ancillary restrictions” have also been subject to recent investigations by the Commission.