012 Golden violates 'no advertising' promise

By MATTHEW KRIEGER
July 10, 2007 08:08

In February, the Internet and long distance company 012 Golden Lines was awarded a full license from the High Court to expand its activities to fixed-line calling, becoming the first company in Israel to get the VoB permit.

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After breaking a promise not to publicly advertise its voice-over-broadband service, 012 Golden Lines was ordered by the High Court for Justice on Monday to cease all advertising activities until a final decision is made regarding the claim from Bezeq's Internet company, Bezeq International, that it too should be awarded a license to operate fixed-line telephone service using VoB technology. In February, the Internet and long distance company 012 Golden Lines was awarded a full license from the High Court to expand its activities to fixed-line calling, becoming the first company in Israel to get the VoB permit. Meanwhile, the court suspended a request from Bezeq to the Communications Ministry asking for the license, a move that was appealed by the communications company, which asked the High Court to reconsider the decision. "We thought that this decision was not correct and asked the High Court to reverse it," said a Bezeq International spokeswoman. She added that Bezeq made an additional request from the court that, until the court arrived at a decision, 012 should not be permitted to begin offering its service to customers - a request that was rejected by the High Court. The court did, however, send a letter to 012 informing the company that it was to only promote the new service to current customers and was not allowed to advertise publicly, such as on television, radio and in the newspaper, explained the spokeswoman. Recently, 012 ran a slew of television commercials, thereby violating its promise not to advertise publicly and earning it a stern rebuke from the High Court, which revoked all its public advertising privileges and forced 012 to stand by the decision or face consequences. "Bezeq views the move as a victory in our attempt to secure a full license to offer VoB services," said the spokeswoman, who added that the company is expecting the High Court to make a decision within the next few days. 012 Golden Lines did not return calls for comment.


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