Home Technology Searches at Orange, suspected of renting its fiber infrastructure too expensive

Searches at Orange, suspected of renting its fiber infrastructure too expensive

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The headquarters of Orange, in Issy-les-Moulineaux, as well as three other sites of the operator were searched on March 10 by agents of the Competition Authority. A major operation which must unravel the threads of two separate investigations, as explained Capital.

The first concerns repairs to the telecom networks of Saint-Barthélémy and Saint-Martin, devastated after Hurricane Irma in 2017. Local competitor Dauphin Telecom believes that Orange first repaired its own equipment to the detriment of the entire market. .

Credit: PawinG (Pixabay)

The other investigation is potentially more explosive for the incumbent. In a complaint filed in 2020 with the Competition Authority, the Association of Alternative Telecom Operators (AOTA) criticizes Orange for renting its fiber network too expensively to competitors and local authorities (which can then offer the connection to companies). In some cases, the incumbent operator would have refused access to its infrastructure.

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This long-term file has already given rise to a rejection by the regulator in January 2020, due to the lack of evidence proving the abuse of a dominant position, but the Autorité has nevertheless launched an exploratory investigation. Orange has initiated proceedings to contest these seizures.

It is difficult to say at the present time the consequences of these searches. Still, the fiber optic market is in a phase of very strong growth, as Arcep recently said in its latest observatory. In fact, there are now more fiber subscribers than ADSL subscribers. In January, Orange exceeded 6 million FttH customers (fibre to the subscriber) in France, or 31.7% more than a year ago.

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Arcep: fiber and 5G have the wind at their back

Arcep: fiber and 5G have the wind at their back

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