Almost a year ago we learned of the opening of a file by the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC) to Microsoft for a very serious violation contrary to the General Telecommunications Law. This violation is related to the non-registration of the Skype Out service in the Operators Registry. Now we have the file closed with a penalty of 7,200 euros, a reduced amount by applying a 40% reduction for prior payment and express acknowledgment of responsibility. We give you the rest of the details below.
Why have they sanctioned Microsoft?
As we have said, everything goes back to May of last year when the disciplinary proceedings were opened. After thoroughly studying the issue and learning the company’s position, we finally have a resolution. Basically, the computer giant is sanctioned for “failure to comply with the obligation to previously notify the start of the provision of electronic communications services available to the general public.”
This is related to your service “Skype to phone” (Skype Out) that allows making calls to telephone networks, whether fixed or mobile, but not receiving them by not using assigned numbering in the National Telephone Numbering Plan (PNNT). According to the regulation, the service must be registered in the Operators Registry with the name “telephone service on data networks with interoperability with the telephone service available to the public.”
The offense was in force between August 31, 2019 and May 29, 2020. Microsoft then reported the activity. The CNMC has applied the aforementioned 40% reduction for prior payment and has modulated the penalty to 7,200 euros. Microsoft now has 2 months to file a contentious-administrative appeal with the National High Court.
What does the general telecommunications law say?
The article 76 of the General Telecommunications Law 9/2014 (LGTel) indicates the cases in which a very serious offense may be incurred. If we look at the second point of this article, we can read the following:
Article 76.2 “Failure to comply with the requirements for the exploitation of networks and provision of electronic communications services established in articles 6.1 and 6.2”.
This makes us have to look for the Articles 6.1 and 6.2 to read the following:
Section 6.1. “Natural or legal persons who are nationals of a Member State of the European Union or of another nationality may operate networks and provide electronic communications services to third parties, when, in the second case, this is provided for in international agreements that bind the Kingdom of Spain. For the rest of the natural or legal persons, the Government may authorize exceptions of a general or particular nature to the previous rule ”.
Section 6.2. “Those interested in the operation of a certain network or in the provision of a certain electronic communications service must, prior to the start of the activity, previously notify the Registry of operators in the terms determined by royal decree, submitting to the conditions provided for the exercise of the activity they intend to carry out ”.