TheCompetition Authority today proceeded to seal certain offices of Numericable SFR at the Saint-Denis and Champs-sur-Marne headquarters as part of an investigation concerning the acquisition of the mobile operator in 2014.
According to the newspaper The world, this investigation by the Authority would be linked to a request from the competitor Bouygues Telecom which would relate to the merger between SFR and Numericable, the latter being suspected of having got hold of the second even before the Authority gave its clearance authorization.
The teams of the two companies could discuss their new future together before the green light but could not start working together. However, the announcement of a fiber box very quickly after validation of the merger by the Authority suggests that the companies have collaborated even before waiting for this deadline, which did not fail to note and point out the competing operators.
The Authority therefore undoubtedly sought concrete elements of this collaboration with the search carried out on the premises, even as tensions increased between Numericable SFR and several of its suppliers for aggressive practices aimed at obtaining significant discounts on invoices and leaving payments lagging in the event of refusal, at the risk of suffocating the most fragile subcontractors and forcing their hand.
It is that the birth of Numericable SFR was played with a huge debt that must now be reimbursed at a run, after the 13 billion euros promised to dismiss the competing proposal from Bouygues Telecom last year.
However, if the Authority finds an infringement in the course of the reconciliation process, a fine of up to 5% of the turnover for the previous year could be required, which would greatly exceed the 500 million euros in the case of Numericable SFR.