[Concurrence déloyale] Free Mobile sues SFR
The war between Free and the incumbent operators continues. Xavier Niel, in an interview with Capital, announces that it has filed a complaint against SFR with the commercial court for unfair competition.
In question, the subsidization of mobile telephones, which represents according to him “a way of making disguised consumer credit … without submitting to legal constraints”. He adds: “this amounts to practicing wear rates of 300 or 400% that the consumer does not see”.
A practice which is however not an isolated case and preferred by many operators. In fact, in 2011, 90% of mobile phones sold in France would have been through a subsidy.
Free Mobile, for its part, stood out from this strategy and sold, as soon as it arrived, packages without including mobiles, these having to be purchased separately. Xavier Niel thus claims to offer, for the sale of its terminals, consumer loans at a rate of 9.99%.
The magazine specifies that Xavier Niel has not yet said whether he would also attack Orange and Bouygues Télécom on this subject.
As specified AFP, this complaint comes in the midst of a controversy surrounding the Chatel law which could be called into question. The incumbent operators would indeed like a revision of this legislation in order to make it more difficult for customers to withdraw and thus “avoid their migration to offers without long-term commitment”, like what Free offers.