European Union antitrust regulators are examining whether Deutsche Telekom AG, Orange SA and Telefonica SA slowed Internet connection speed to the detriment of competitors that require high volumes of data.
Former monopolies still control large parts of the Internet infrastructure in the three companies’ home countries, carrying Web traffic and leasing their networks to other providers.
EU officials raided Deutsche Telekom, Orange and Telefonica in July “to make sure that these companies were not abusing a dominant position by degrading the quality or limiting the speed of third-party content, for example to favor their own content,” Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said today at a conference in London.
The raids followed complaints to local regulators by Cogent Communications Group Inc., a Washington-based Internet provider whose customers send traffic across carriers’ networks. European telecommunications companies don’t allow enough downloading capacity to meet end-users’ demand, and connections aren’t large or streamlined enough to allow clients like Cogent to offer adequate service to their own customers, Chief Executive Officer David Schaeffer said at the time.