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UPDATE 2-Polish telco TPSA hit with 127 mln euro EU fine
* EU: TPSA prevented and delayed rivals' entry to network
* Fine represents 3.24 pct of 2010 turnover of 3.9 bln euros
* TPSA stock off 2 pct, heaviest Polish blue-chip faller
(Adds TPSA comment, analyst, updates shares)
By Foo Yun Chee and Adrian Krajewski
BRUSSELS/WARSAW, June 22 (Reuters) - EU antitrust regulators hit TPSA , Poland's largest telecoms operator, with a 127 million-euro ($182 million) fine on Wednesday for thwarting rivals' access to its network.
The unit of France Telecom prevented or delayed competitors from entering the Polish broadband market between August 2005 and October 2009, the European Commission said in a statement.
"This case shows our determination to ensure that dominant telecom operators do not systematically hinder competitors who can make a real difference in the market to the benefit of consumers and businesses," EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said.
The Commission said TPSA proposed unreasonable conditions to rivals, delayed negotiations, rejected orders in an unjustifiable manner and refused to provide reliable and accurate information.
"The fine comes way above our expectations," DM BZ WBK analyst Pawel Puchalski said.
"According to our calculations, TPSA could have been fined some 800 million zlotys ($288 million) maximum. Surely the company will appeal the verdict, so that there will be no need to pay it instantly," he said.
Puchalski added the group may include related provisions in its second-quarter results, which would drag it into the red if TPSA does not include the proceeds from the 1.7-billion zloty ($612.4 million) March sale of its TV infrastructure unit.
"The European Commission's decision is surprising, as the contemplated irregularities were voluntarily removed by TPSA promptly upon discovery, i.e. no later than in 2009," TPSA said in its official statement.
"The decision (...) is not final. Therefore, TPSA will co-operate with its lawyers to take any and all possible and reasonable steps regarding the EC's decision."
TPSA shares extended losses after the news and were down 2 percent to 16.94 zlotys by 1141 GMT, the biggest decliner among Polish blue-chips . The fine represented 3.24 percent of TPSA's 2010 turnover of 3.9 billion euros ($5.6 billion).
TPSA competes in mobile telephony with Deutsche Telekom's (DTEGn.DE) Polish arm PTC, and Polkomtel -- which has been put up for sale by joint owners Vodafone and Polish investors -- and in the fixed-line market with Netia . (Additional reporting by Adrian Krajewski in Warsaw, Editing by Rex Merrifield and David Hulmes) ($1=.6971 Euro) ($1=2.776 Zloty)
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