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Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica in EU antitrust raids

The logo of France Telecom's unit Orange is seen at the company's headquarters in Paris, June 17 2013. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
The logo of France Telecom's unit Orange is seen at the company's headquarters in Paris, June 17 2013. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union antitrust regulators have raided Deutsche Telekom , Orange SA and Telefonica on suspicion that the companies may have abused their dominant position in Internet connectivity services.

The EU Commission said On Thursday it raided the offices of some telecoms providers in several EU countries on July 9 but did not identify the companies, in line with its usual policy.

Deutsche Telekom and Orange SA confirmed the raid. A source familiar with the issue said Telefonica was also raided and that only three companies were targeted. Telefonica declined to comment.

"The Commission has concerns that the companies concerned may have violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit the abuse of a dominant market position," the EU executive said in a statement.

"Internet connectivity ... is crucial for the functioning of the Internet and for end users' ability to reach Internet content with the necessary quality of service, irrespective of the location of the provider," it said.

KPN and Belgacom said they were not raided.

Companies can be fined as much as 10 percent of their global turnover for breaching EU antitrust rules.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Leila Abboud in Paris, Peter Maushagen in Frankfurt and Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by Erica Billingham)

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