Orange Ordered to Pay Record $280 Million in Antitrust Case
(Bloomberg) -- Orange SA, the French mobile-phone carrier, was ordered to pay a rival in the Caribbean a record amount of nearly 250 million euros ($280 million) after a decade-long antitrust battle.
The Paris court of appeals ruled Wednesday that Digicel Antilles Françaises Guyane is due about 181.5 million euros to make up for lost revenue. Digicel, which operates in the French overseas region, said interest added another 68 million euros.
Orange said it’s considering an appeal at France’s top court. The former French state monopoly questioned the proportionality of the award given the size of the market concerned and in light of a parallel award to Outremer Telecom of 2.6 million euros plus interest over the same underlying dispute.
In Friday’s case, Digicel sued after Orange was fined 63 million euros in 2009 by France’s antitrust arm for thwarting competition in the West Indies-Guyana zone.
The sums owed to Digicel had already been placed by Orange in an escrow account following a prior court decision.
Digicel said in a statement that Orange should now “turn the page of this litigation which has lasted too long.”
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