Abertis Telecom declares its total disconformity with the arguments put forward by the CNC regarding DTT broadcasting services that are regulated by the requirements set by the broadcasters themselves in the pertinent tender contracts.
Barcelona, 21 May 2009.- In relation to the decision adopted today by the Board of Spains anti-trust authority, the CNC, in which there is imposed a sanction of 22,6 million euros to abertis telecom, the company maintains is erroneous in both substance and form. abertis telecom has demonstrated his decision to appeal it before the National Appellate Court where it trusts that its interpretation will be upheld.
abertis telecom believes that, in contrast to the arguments put forward in the CNC ruling, none of the conducts of which it is charged constitute abuse of a dominant market position, as established by the anti-trust authority itself in March 2007, when it issued a stay of proceedings.
DTT technology is being rolled out in Spain in keeping with the targets set in the Technical Plan originally drawn up by the Spanish government (ministry of industry), which forms the basis on which abertis telecom has been working. In this respect there is a claim to be made concerning clarification of the respective competences on this matter of the CNC, the CMT Spains telecommunications watchdog - and the ministry of industry.
In relation to contract duration: the long-term nature of the contracts is recommended in the tender agreement terms and conditions. In fact, the contracting of the 2008 services is the result of a tender called by the broadcasters themselves, the terms of which stipulate that the service be contracted for eight years until 2016.
In relation to the penalty for early cancellation: the 2006 contracts included such a clause, establishing an amount which, contrary to what the CNC states, was customary in contracts of this nature. In the contracts entered into in 2008, which substituted the 2006 contracts, the parties agreed not to expressly provide for early cancellation but also not to set specific penalties other than those applicable under law in the event of breach of contract by any of the parties.
In relation to discounts for global contracting: the 2006 contracts established the logical discount pertaining to the synergies implied by contracting the entire service as opposed to contracting it individually, region by region.
The conduct of abertis telecom has not impeded the entry of potential competitors in this market; specifically in the tenders convened by the nationwide broadcasters themselves, alternative operators were free to present bids. In addition, Spains telecoms watchdog, the CMT, has imposed access obligations at regulated prices on abertis telecom, as an operator with a significant market position, with a view to facilitating entry by potential competitors.