EU regulators close internet throttling investigation

Stéphane Richard

Stéphane Richard

European Union competition regulators have closed their year-long investigation into Deutsche Telekom, Orange and Telefónica for allegedly choking off traffic from certain providers in favour of their own services.

“The Commission found no evidence of behaviour aimed at foreclosing transit services from the market or at providing an unfair advantage to the telecoms operators’ own proprietary content services,” the EU said.

EU officials raided the offices of the three companies in July last year as part of an investigation into whether the telcos were restricting access to the internet to companies that offered services using large amounts of data.

At the time the EU described the raids as part of a competition investigation into “a number of telecommunications companies” in several EU countries over potential abuse of an alleged dominant market position. The EU did not name the companies it was investigating, but the groups confirmed they had been raided.

The investigation followed a complaint by US bandwidth provider Cogent Communications that Orange was restricting access to its content by privileging the traffic of its subsidiary Dailymotion over that of YouTube.

At the time, Orange CEO Stéphane Richard denied the allegations and questioned Cogent’s business practices, which he said were based on non-payment for networks that they used.