12.02.19

Gemini version available ♊︎

Wikileaks: Thierry Breton May Have Misused Regulatory/Government Positions to Attack His Competition (in the Market)

Posted in Europe, Fraud at 1:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Telegram (cable)
It’s always there somewhere, under the radar…

Summary: Thierry ‘revolving doors’ Breton as seen by the United States government

THE FOLLOWING telegram (cable) merits attention. We have not mentioned this in our ongoing series, but it’s another potential scandal from 2005.

To quote the cable in full:


PRICE-FIXING; ECONOMY MINISTER UNDER SUSPICION 
 
NOT FOR INTERNET DISTRIBUTION 
 
1.  (SBU) SUMMARY. France's three main mobile telephone 
operators (Orange, SFR and Bouygues) are being investigated 
by the government's Fraud Office for anticompetitive 
practices.  If found guilty by France's Competition Council 
of a concerted effort to fix calling rates from 1997 to 
2003, they could face fines of up to 10 percent of their 
respective annual revenues.  A decision by the Council is 
expected before the end of the year, according to the August 
24 issue of "Le Canard Enchaine", the French satirical and 
investigative weekly that made the ongoing government 
investigation public.  The weekly hints at least some 
involvement by former France Telecom CEO and current Economy 
Minister Thierry Breton, which could spell trouble for the 
minister and the government. END SUMMARY. 
 
2.  (SBU)  The investigation results from an original 
complaint by French consumer group UFC-Que Choisir in 
February 2002.  The consumer association noted that each 
mobile operator had adopted "strictly identical rates."  An 
investigation carried out by the Economy and Finance 
Ministry's Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Office 
(DGCCRF) documented the allegations further, according to 
"Le Canard Enchaine" in its August 24 issue.   In its May 
2004 report, the Fraud Office found memos and minutes of 
"secret regular meetings" between the three operators to 
allow them to be more reactive to market changes. (Note: 
Orange is owned by France Telecom, Bouygues is privately- 
owned, and SFR is owned jointly by Vodafone and Vivendi.) 
 
3.  (SBU)  "Le Canard" cites many of the operators' 
documents which were never intended to be "communicated to 
outsiders, either to ART, the French telecoms regulatory 
authority or to the Economy and Finance Ministry."  The 
documents further point to the minutes of an October 28, 
2002 meeting between the three operators, in the presence of 
then- France Telecom CEO Thierry Breton.  During that 
meeting, the CEO of FT's mobile unit Orange allegedly 
referred to the "Yalta of market share" agreed by the three 
operators.  An earlier note claims that Breton's predecessor 
Michel Bon had given a green light to the secret agreement. 
 
4.  (SBU)  Finally, according to the press reports, the 
investigation carried out by the Fraud Office concluded the 
(tortured?) reasoning behind the alleged collusion : to keep 
financially ailing Bouygues afloat in order to prevent FT's 
Orange market share from crossing the watershed 49.6 percent 
mark, at which point the regulator would be required to step 
in and set prices.   The Fraud Office's report allegedly 
quotes Thierry Breton as using this explanation in a meeting 
it documents.  FT allegedly feared that if Bouygues went 
bankrupt, most of its customers would move to Orange. 
 
5. (SBU) Breton, who was CEO from October 2003 to 2005, 
before being named Economy and Finance Minister, shepherded 
France Telecom's gradual transformation from a state- 
controlled company to one where the GOF owns approximately 
39 percent.  Mobile operator Orange was a publicly trade 
company in 2000 when France Telecom acquired it from 
Vodafone, in a deal approved by European Commission 
authorities. Under Breton's tenure, FT bought back all 
outstanding shares of the company. 
 
6. (U) Breton and other ministry officials categorically 
deny these allegations.  Breton says the facts being 
investigated took place before he took over at FT, and added 
that France's three mobile phone operators "would have to be 
punished" should any evidence of a price-fixing agreement be 
found. 
 
COMMENT 
------- 
7. (SBU) In the short-term, the allegations against Breton 
could weaken the minister's personal efforts to push for tax 
reform in the fall, and could distract public and press from 
Prime Minister de Villepin's singular focus on employment. 
If it mushrooms, a highly visible scandal involving Breton 
(France's fourth Economy minister in two years) could be 
politically damaging for the Chirac government.  A scandal 
involving one of the new government's leading ministers 
would certainly provide the deeply divided Socialist Party 
with one thing to agree on.  (In parliament next week there 
will be no lack of socialist lambasting of price fixing by 
capitalist fat cats).  Chirac's other rivals and their 
supporters are also lining up to take political advantage of 
the government's weaknesses.  The knives may be even sharper 
next week as much of France returns to work and school. 
 
HOFMANN 

There were several other scandals implicating Breton as a government official, e.g.

  1. Chirac's Entrepreneurial “Joker”
  2. The “Cost-Killer” Tries to Tame the National Debt
  3. “Rhodiagate” and the Vivendi Universal Affair
  4. Insider-Trading Scandal at EADS
  5. Noël Forgeard and His “Golden Parachute”
  6. Thierry and the $100 Billion Man
  7. Thierry & Nicolas - a Bromance That Turned Sour?

Now Breton has a very powerful position in the EU. He has just been given additional duties and powers, according to press reports.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 20/10/2021: New Redcore Linux and Hospital Adoption of GNU Health

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 19, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, October 19, 2021



  3. Links 19/10/2021: Karanbir Singh Leaves CentOS Board, GPL Violations at Vizio

    Links for the day



  4. [Meme] Giving the Knee

    The 'knee' champion Kratochvìl and 'kneel' champion Erlingsdóttir are simply crushing the law; they’re ignoring the trouble of EPO staff and abuses of the Office, facilitated by the Council itself (i.e. facilitated by themselves)



  5. Josef Kratochvìl Rewarded Again for Covering Up EPO Corruption and the EPO Bribes the Press for Lies Whilst Also Lying About Its Colossal Privacy Violations

    Corrupt officials and officials who actively enable the crimes still control the Office and also the body which was supposed to oversee it; it's pretty evident and clear judging by this week's press statements at the EPO's official Web site



  6. [Meme] Sorry, Wrong Country (Or: Slovenia isn't Great Britain)

    Team UPC is trying to go ahead with a total hoax which a high-level European court would certainly put an end to (if or when a referral is initiated)



  7. How Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden Voted on Patently Unlawful Regulations at the EPO

    We look back and examine what happened 8 years ago when oppressed staff was subjected to unlawful new “regulations” (long enjoyed by António Campinos, the current EPO autocrat)



  8. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVII: The Non-Monolithic Nordic Bloc

    We start our investigation of how countries in northern Europe ended up voting on the unlawful “Strike Regulations” at the EPO and why



  9. Proof That Windows “11” is a Hoax

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  10. Firefox Becomes as Morally Reprehensible as Apple, Facebook, or Uber

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  11. Links 19/10/2021: GNU dbm 1.22 and Godot 3.4 RC 1

    Links for the day



  12. [Meme] [Teaser] GitHub an Expensive and Dangerous Trap (Also: Misogyny Hub)

    The ongoing Microsoft GitHub exposé will give people compelling reasons to avoid GitHub, which is basically just a subsidised (at a loss) trap



  13. Norway Should Have Voted Against Benoît Battistelli's Illegal (Anti-)'Strike Regulations' at the European Patent Office

    Benoît Battistelli‘s EPO faced no real and potent opposition from Norwegian delegates, who chose to abstain from the vote on the notorious and illegal so-called ‘Strike Regulations’ (they’re just an attack on strikes, an assault on basic rights of labourers)



  14. Links 19/10/2021: Sequoia PGP LGPL 2.0+, Open RAN Adoption

    Links for the day



  15. [Meme] [Teaser] Benoît Battistelli, King of Iceland

    Later today we shall see how the current deputy of the head of the EPO‘s overseeing body was in fact likely rewarded for her complicity in Benoît Battistelli‘s abuses against EPO staff, including staff from Iceland



  16. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 18, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, October 18, 2021



  17. Links 19/10/2021: MyGNUHealth 1.0.5 and Ubuntu 22.04 Now Developed

    Links for the day



  18. [Meme] [Teaser] Thrown Under the Bus

    Tomorrow we shall look at Danish enablers of unlawful EPO regulations, Jesper Kongstad and Anne Rejnhold Jørgensen



  19. The World Needs to Know What Many Austrians Already Know About Rude Liar, the Notorious 'Double-Dipper'

    Today we publish many translations (from German) about the Austrian double-dipper, who already became the subject of unfavourable press coverage in his home country; he’s partly responsible for crushing fundamental rights at the EPO under Benoît Battistelli‘s regime



  20. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVI: The Demise of the Austrian Double-Dipper

    Friedrich ‘Rude Liar’ Rödler is notorious in the eyes of EPO staff, whom he was slandering and scandalising for ages while he himself was the real scandal



  21. Links 18/10/2021: Porteus Kiosk 5.3 and Ventoy 1.0.55

    Links for the day



  22. [Meme] [Teaser] More to Life Than Patents

    Greedy sociopaths oughtn’t be put in charge of patent offices; this is what’s dooming the EPO in recent years (all they think about is money



  23. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part II — The Campaign Against GPL Compliance and War on Copyleft Enforcement

    Microsoft contemplated buying GitHub 7.5 years ago; the goal wasn’t to actually support “Open Source” but to crush it from the inside and that’s what Microsoft has been doing over the past 2.5 years (we have some details from the inside)



  24. Links 18/10/2021: Linux 5.15 RC6 and 7 New Stable Kernels

    Links for the day



  25. [Meme] The Austrian School of Friedrich Rude Liar

    With reference to the Austrian School, let’s consider the fact that Friedrich Rude Liar might in fact be standing to personally gain by plundering the EPO‘s staff by demonising them while helping Benoît Battistelli crush them



  26. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 17, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 17, 2021



  27. How (Simple Technical Steps) to Convince Yourself That DuckDuckGo is Just Spyware Connected to Microsoft, Falsely Advertised as 'Privacy'

    In recent days we published or republished some bits and pieces about what DuckDuckGo really is; the above reader dropped by to enlighten us and demonstrate just how easy it is to see what DuckDuckGo does even at the client side (with JavaScript); more people need to confront DuckDuckGo over this and warn colleagues/friends/family (there’s more here)



  28. Austria's Right-Wing Politicians Displaying Their Arrogance to EPO Examiners

    The EPO‘s current regime seems to be serving a money-hungry lobby of corrupt officials and pathological liars; tonight we focus on Austria



  29. [Meme] Friedrich Rödler's Increasingly Incomprehensible Debt Quagmire, Years Before EPO Money Was Trafficked Into the Stock Market

    As it turns out, numerous members of the Administrative Council of the EPO are abundantly corrupt and greedy; They falsely claim or selfishly pretend there’s a financial crisis and then moan about a "gap" that does not exist (unless one counts the illegal gambling, notably EPOTIF, which they approved), in turn recruiting or resorting to scabs that help improve ‘profit margins’



  30. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XV: Et Tu Felix Austria…

    Prior to the Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos regime the EPO‘s hard-working staff was slandered by a corrupt Austrian official, Mr. Rödler


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts