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August 5, 2013

Vodafone seeking €1bn in damages from Telecom Italia in competition claim

Vodafone has commenced litigation against Telecom Italia

By CBR Staff Writer

Vodafone has sued Italian telecoms firm Telecom Italia for allegedly abusing its leading position in Italy and demanded more than €1bn in damages.

The British telecoms provider said in a statement that the company has commenced litigation against Telecom Italia.

"The civil action states that Telecom Italia committed a series of abuses between 2008 and 2013 with the intention and effect of impeding growth in competition in the Italian fixed-line market," Vodafone said.

In May 2013, the Italian competition regulator fined Telecom Italia upon finding evidence of abuse of dominance in network infrastructure and fined more than €100m.

However, the Italian firm is appealing the antitrust fine, which was decided following a three-year probe provoked by rivals Wind and Fastweb.

Vodafone alleged that the civil action would set out how the Italian firm’s abusive actions have damaged competition and innovation, stifled choice and lead to loss of wider Italian consumer interest.

Telecom Italia is also claimed to be responsible restricting the Vodafone’s ability to boost its fixed-line business and forced it to pay artificially higher prices to contend in the market.

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The current lawsuit follows the Italian firm’s plan to spin off its fixed-line copper network.

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