December 30, 2018 / 9:43 AM / 23 days ago

Israel's Bezeq fined for failure to sell wholesale phone service

The logo of Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Corp Ltd, the country's largest telecom group, is seen outside their headquarters in Tel Aviv, Israel June 21, 2017. REUTERS/Amir Cohen/File Photo

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Bezeq Israel Telecom said on Sunday it received notice of an 11.2 million shekel ($3 million) fine from the country’s telecoms regulator for failure to sell wholesale landline phone service to competitors.

“The company is studying the decision and weighing the filing of a petition against it,” Bezeq said in a statement.

The fine, Bezeq said, was “for breach of provisions in connection with implementation of a wholesale telephony service.”

As part of a sector reform that created a wholesale market, Bezeq in 2015 was ordered to allow competitors to use its telephony infrastructure. Bezeq, Israel’s largest telecoms company, appealed the decision to no avail.

The Communications Ministry, which threatened the fine a year ago, ordered Bezeq in June to make its telephony service available for leasing by smaller competitors by August.

Bezeq has argued the move would have a negative impact on its financial results.

Bezeq is one of two companies in Israel providing telecoms infrastructure nationwide, although it is the main player.

($1 = 3.7614 shekels)

Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Tova Cohen

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