The European Union has raided all nine British and German mobile phone companies as part of the Union-wide investigation into price fixing, according to Competition Commissioner Mario Monti in Brussels.
The raids took place on Wednesday morning, and are concerned with roaming charges between mobile networks in the two countries. Monti had previously stated that inter-network charges were relatively high, all tending to cost around one euro (about 86 cents) per minute.
At the time of writing, One2One, Orange and BT Cellnet confirmed that they had been visited by European Union officials, and said that they were co-operating fully. Vodafone could not be immediately contacted. German mobile company T-Mobile also confirmed the visit, but added that it had a "good conscience" and wasn't worried by what might be found.
The European Commission said it suspects "collective price fixing" by operators in the two countries. "The inspections also aim to verify whether German operators have illegally fixed the wholesale prices they charge to other operators," it said in a statement, adding "Roaming prices are intransparent to consumers, rigid and at levels that are unrelated to the cost of carriage." --Rupert Goodwins, ZDNet UK