KPN faces regulator scrutiny

22 December 2011 |

Dutch telecoms and ICT provider KPN is facing scrutiny from domestic regulator, Opta, which has said that the firm has violated rules, and that it intends to sharpen its supervision of the company in The Netherlands. The regulator said that it could not elaborate on its claims as an investigation into the company was still on going.

KPN said that is was surprised by Opta’s announcement and that it was aware of a few cases which are currently being dealt with to which the Opta announcement may be related. The company expressed that it was “firmly of the opinion that it has acted in compliance with relevant laws and regulation in these cases”.

Also stressing that it operates an extensive compliance programme and has signed a compliance charter with Opta that requires and promotes compliance with all applicable laws and regulations from all its employees.

KPN’s offices were raided by the Dutch competition authority, NMa, on the morning of December 6. At that time, the NMa was said to be investigating “concerted practice with regard to mobile telecommunications offerings on the Dutch consumer market” and “division of independent sales channels”. At least five KPN employees were heard as part of the investigation.

In a seperate announcement, KPN said that it had agreed to sell its French mobile unit, KPN France, to Bouygues Telecom for an undisclosed amount. The sale is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2011.

KPN France provides mobile services as a VNO to approximately 180,000 French customers under the Simyo brand. KPN will still remain active in the French mobile market through the company’s other holding Ortel Mobile, which also operates in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland.

KPN has said that the move is in line with its preiviously stated strategy outside of its domestic markets, to focus on accelerating Ortel Mobile’s growth.