Anti-Trust Body Fines A1 Bulgaria over Abuse of Superior Bargaining Position

Anti-Trust Body Fines A1 Bulgaria over Abuse of Superior Bargaining Position

Bulgaria's competition regulator said on Monday that it has imposed an 804,340 levs ($467,500/411,200 euro) fine on telco A1 Bulgaria, part of A1 Telekom Austria group, over the company's abuse of superior bargaining position regarding its relations with local retailer Handy-Tel, which offered A1's mobile devices and services.A1 Bulgaria abused its position by setting stricter performance requirements for Handy-Tel in 2017 and then terminating its contract with the company on February 22, the Commission for Protection of Competition said in its decision. Despite the stricter requirements, Handy-Tel only failed to meet its obligations in the last quarter of 2017, which is not a valid motive for termination of the contractual relations between the two parties, the regulator said. Following the contract cancellation, Handy-Tel was forced to halt operations as the majority of them were part of its partnership with A1 Bulgaria. The amount of the fine is equal to 2% of A1 Bulgaria's revenue from telecommunications services in 2017.

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