LISBON, March 31 Portugal's telecoms regulator
ANACOM said again on Friday it had rejected the European
Commission's recommendation that it open up part of Altice's
national fibre optic network to rivals.
ANACOM had indicated last year that it would not comply with
the recommendation, prompting Brussels to conduct an inquiry and
to warn that the European Commission could pursue legal measures
if ANACOM did not change tack.
Local competitors such as Vodafone have been pushing
Brussels to open up access to the network operated by Altice's
unit MEO in rural areas.
ANACOM said that its decision was based on the fact that
Portugal had expanded its broadband network across the country
using multiple networks that were operated by several companies.
"After thorough consideration, ANACOM maintains its decision
not to heed the EU recommendation, taking into account data
showing the specifics of the national broadband market compared
with other European countries," the regulator said.
In 2015 Amsterdam-listed Altice bought former state monopoly
PT Portugal, which included MEO, Portugal's biggest pay-TV and
broadband Internet service provider.
ANACOM said its regulations had made it possible for MEO's
rivals, which include NOS and Vodafone Portugal, to
invest in their own infrastructure.
But competitors have complained about Altice's dominance.
Vodafone has said it expects Brussels to force Portugal to open
up, saying customers in some areas faced a worse service,
limited offers and higher bills than in other regions.
The European Commission inquiry that ended in November
carried a warning that legal steps could follow if ANACOM did
not amend or withdraw its decision to reject the
(Reporting By Daniel Alvarenga and Andrei Khalip; Editing by