The Federal Competition Authority (BWB) sees the simultaneous price increase by the three big players as a “crooked look”.
Service fee is also increased
With Drei, mobile phone contracts are one to three euros more expensive per month, A1 is introducing an annual service fee of 25 euros for its discount brand “bob”. In addition, both providers are increasing their Internet tariffs. Magenta discontinues old UPC contracts for cable internet; the new basic fee costs an average of three euros more per month.
The odor Thanner, General Director of the Federal Competition Authority, to help.ORF.at. He also criticizes the magnitude of the increases. In one case there is even a price increase of 70 percent. This makes a bad impression, especially in the current crisis, but pricing is left to the company.
Forbidden price fixing would force action
As a competition authority, one is only responsible if there is an abuse of the price setting, according to the lawyer. Such an abuse would be a prohibited price fixing between the providers.
The announcements of the price increases are too few for the BWB to take steps to investigate. You watch the market closely, says Thanner. He also refers to a whistleblower hotline that can be used anonymously to contact the BWB.
The mobile phone companies would be subject to an obligation to provide information if they were confronted with clues, it is said.
The fact that there are only three network operators ensures a “strong concentration” of the market, Thanner from the BWB criticizes. It is therefore necessary that the discounters who can rent into existing networks continue to exist.
The re are currently 24 discounters with a combined market share of 12 percent.