SFR seeks $2.6 billion in damages from Orange in antitrust litigation

The logo of French telecoms operator SFR is pictured in Paris

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s second-biggest telecoms operator SFR is seeking 2.4 billion euros ($2.6 billion) in damages from bigger rival Orange in an antitrust litigation tied to the corporate market in the country.

SFR’s claim is detailed in Orange’s 2016 annual registration document and was first reported by French news magazine L’Express.

“SFR has accustomed us to prohibitive demands in the past that were not put into effect,” a spokesman for Orange said. SFR declined to comment.

SFR’s initial estimates for the damages amounted to 512 million euros, Orange said in its registration document.

Verizon and BT, which also provide services for the corporate sector in France, are respectively claiming 215 million and 150 million euros respectively, Orange said.

The two telecoms groups were not immediately available for comment.

The three legal actions against Orange are brought before the Paris Commercial Court, Orange said.

These financial claims follow a 2015 decision by the French competition authority that fined Orange 350 million euros for abusing its dominant position to hold back competition in the corporate sector.

($1 = 0.9194 euros)

(Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain and Gwenaelle Barzic; editing by John Irish)