The Office of Economic Competition launched proceedings, based on complaints, against Kábeltel Budapest Ltd (hereinafter: Kábeltel) and stated in its decision that Kábeltel abused its dominant position when it stipulated unilaterally in the contract concluded with the subscribers the possibility of increasing the fee once a year.

Kábeltel is the owner of the cable television system in several districts of Budapest and gradually has become also the operator. The rights of the operator cover, inter alia, the right to conclude and modify the contracts with the subscribers. Thereafter Kábeltel initiated to conclude new conditions of the General Contracts in areas where Kábeltel had monopolistic position, in which Kábeltel fixed the right of alteration of the monthly fee once a year.

In one of its previous decisions, based on the provisions of the former Competition Act, the Competition Council found Kábeltel`s conduct anti-competitive and imposed a fine on it as well as ordered it to alter the relevant clause of the contract.

In this present case the Competition Council reached its decision under the new Competition Act (which entered into force this January) although its judgement was similar to the previous one. The Competition Council did not object the degree of the increase of the fee but qualified the way of the increasing of the fee as stipulation of unilateral advantages. Therefore Kábeltel was ordered to terminate its anti-competitive market conduct and, taking into consideration the previous decision, the Competition Council imposed a fine on it amounting to HUF 3 million (about 15 000 ECU).

April 22, 1997. Budapest

dr. Kállai Mária sk.
Fógel Jánosné dr. sk.
dr. Sólyom Eszter sk.
Ágoston Marika