Italy Antitrust says Telecom Italia hindered competition-document

BRUSSELS/ROME Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:22pm EST

BRUSSELS/ROME Dec 12 (Reuters) - Italy's Antitrust authority said that Telecom Italia hindered access to the country's fixed-line telephone network from 2009 to 2011, according to a document seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

There was "an unjustified number of refusals to activate wholesale services" that "constitutes a grave violation of the regulations that safeguard competition," the watchdog said in findings in an ongoing probe that began in June 2010.

Vodaphone, FastWeb, Bti Italia, Colt, Wind, Siportal Teleunit, and Telepiu' are the companies that had contested Telecom Italia's behaviour.

Telecom Italia, which owns the phone lines that enter directly into Italian homes, "applied retail service prices to the fixed-line newtwork that... do not allow an efficient competitor to make a profit," the document read.

Telecom Italia officials were not immediately available for comment. The last hearings in the probe will be held in January and the investigation must end by the end of March. (Reporting by Francesco Guarascio in Brussels and Alberto Sisto in Rome.)

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