While the EC did not disclose which companies were subject to the raid, French newspaper Le Figaro reports that offices of Orange, Telefonica and Deutsche Telekom were visited starting on 09 July, and the inspections will continue until 12 July.
According to the paper, the EC investigation follows a complaint from US-based Cogent Communications. Cogent lost a case last year brought against Orange at the French competition regulator, claiming the French operator was compromising the free exchange of traffic flows between networks used by transit operators, by requesting payment for opening up additional technical capacity for access to Orange subscribers. Orange wanted compensation for receiving 13 times as much internet traffic from Cogent as it sent to the US operator, largely due to Cogent hosting the Megaupload P2P site. The French regulator said such payment was not unheard of in the internet industry when there was a large inbalance in traffic, but did require Orange to improve transparency on its peering arrangements.
According to Le Figaro, Cogent has filed a similar complaint against the Spanish and German operators now. Orange said it was cooperating with the EC investigation and was confident the earlier competition ruling would be upheld. Deutsche Telekom also confirmed to Bloomberg its offices were searched.
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