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KPN's Costly Secrets

3:52 PM -- KPN just got a €2.88 million ($4.1 million) reminder that it's not a good idea to keep secrets from the regulator. Dutch regulator OPTA fined the incumbent operator for failing to report customer discounts -- again. (See OPTA Fines KPN.)

That might not seem like a lot of money for a company that made revenues of €12.1 billion ($17 billion) in 2006. But it's more than half of the €4.5 million revenues KPN made on the discounted services in question between early 2006 and mid-2007.

It's not the first time KPN has had to pay for this mistake. OPTA fined KPN €450,000 ($637,000) in January 2005, €17 million ($24 million) in November 2005, and €1.6 million ($2.3 million) in July 2007, making a grand total of €22 million ($31 million).

But does it matter? While the regulator busily investigates and enforces price transparency, I suspect KPN kept all those customers as a result of the discounted prices.

OPTA absolutely should be applauded for its efforts to ensure competition, but I think incumbents still get their way in the end.

— Michelle Donegan, European Cynical Editor, Light Reading

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