The French mobile telecoms operator SFR has lodged a complaint with the European Commission against its competitors Orange and Free, confirmed the executive's Directorate-General for Competition, on 20 December 2012.

SFR maintains that Orange's parent company, France Telecom, has de facto control over Free Mobile through a roaming partnership that has created a barrier to competition through low-priced offers.

Under the roaming contract, Free Mobile is allowed to use the incumbent operator's 2G and 3G (but not 4G) networks for six years, until it can build its own network. This arrangement has enabled it to offer its mobile services at very competitive rates since January 2012, when it had barely started developing its own network. This leasing arrangement is costing it 1 billion over three years and compensates Orange for losses resulting from these low rates. Other competitors like SFR and Bouygues Telecom have been...

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