The misuse of lines 902

June 5, 2019

The Council of the Spanish National Commission on Financial Markets and Competition (CNMC) decided to open disciplinary files to seven companies due to a possible serious violation of the Spanish General Communication Act because they found signs of a breach of the regulations of premium lines or 900 numbers.

Operators under investigation

The operators under investigation are Vodafone, Orange, BT, Dialoga, Alai, Opera and Xtra Telecom.


The CNMC declares in a release that this decision is based on the fact that the operators under investigation had offered to hire 902 services with an economic profit for the companies who hired this service.

This last point is, in particular, under a depth analysis since the regulation expressly prohibits the compensation to the person who hires 902 services, it is said, that the company that receives the call cannot receive an economic benefit for it. The standard says that the user has to pay the total cost of the call to the operator.

The misuse of lines 902

An example of the use of lines 902

For example, the idea of lines 902 for companies is to centralise their different telephone services in a sole number.

According to the CNMC, ‘The current Spanish regulation does not contemplate the provision of customer services through any number. This implies that the customer services may be provided through 902 numbers, among others, unless the regulation expressly prohibits it’. In this regard, we should say that which is prohibited is the fact that the company which hires the 902 services can receive the total cost of this call.

Case decision

The CNMC has now twelve months to investigate and issue a decision. The operators under investigation may pay penalties if the final decision determines the misuse of these special-rate lines since they would be serious violations of the current regulation due to ‘breach of the determining conditions of the attributions and the grant of rights of use of the resources included in the numbering plans’.

Precedents of sanctioned operators

This kind of disciplinary files to lines 902 is not new. In fact, last October the CNMC issued a sanction of almost 90,000 Euro to four companies for this reason, that is, the operators offered an economic profit to the companies who hired a 902 premium number.

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