UK and German mobile operators have been raided by the European Commission during a mass probe over price fixing in the European telecoms market.
A total of nine operators were targetted by investigators looking for evidence of customer overcharging. The Commission said it is trying to find out whether operators have colluded in illegal price fixing for roaming by using another company's network when the user is abroad.
A statement from the Commission said it was seeing whether any evidence existed of "collective fixing of consumer retail prices by mobile operators in both countries" and "whether German operators have illegally fixed the wholesale prices they charge".
The investigation is said to affect five UK and four German companies including Orange, One2One and Vodafone.
The focus of the investigation is what the Commission describes as the "intransparent" roaming charges applied when a phone is used in a country other than the one in which it was bought. Roaming prices in Europe are up to 10 times higher than in the US.
A statement from the Commission said that its initial research had revealed "serious competition concerns regarding pricing practices for mobile roaming that warrant further investigations, in particular in the UK and Germany".
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