Thursday 24 June 2021

Court Annuls Fine Against ICE

The telecom regulator fined the state-owned telecom, in 2015, for monopolistic and anti-competitive practices

Costa Rica’s contentious-administrative court (Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo) has annulled a fine of ¢2.18 billion (2.157.826.200) colones (around US$4 million dollars) imposed by the Superintendency of Telecommunications (Sutel) against ICE.

Image for illustrative purposes

The telecom regulator fined the state-owned company, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) for monopolistic and anti-competitive practices in the mobile telephony market between November and December 2011, and October and November 2012.

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The fine was handed down in 2015 after Spain’s Telefonica (Movistar) complained that ICE’s  “Promociones chip extremo” (Extreme Chip) prepay promotion could not be replicated by rival operators.

The court accepted ICE’s appeal that the promotion did not prevent rival companies from launching their own offers and that Sutel had accredited the operator’s alleged conduct on the basis of expert testimony from Telefonica.

The Court also ordered the regulator to pay the costs of the trial.

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