Vodafone is investigating alleged tax fraud at Ono, the Spanish cableco it acquired earlier this year.
On Saturday, Spanish newspaper El Pais reported that Ono failed to declare value-added taxes on international calling minutes worth €200 million in a bid to boost profits.
Citing unnamed sources, the newspaper said that a team of four employees, three of whom have left their posts, carried out the alleged fraud between 2009 and 2011.
The UK-based operator put out a statement saying it has acted quickly on the reports: “As soon as Vodafone became aware of the issue we instigated a forensic audit to investigate the facts relating to the alleged fraud.”
The operator said the matter remains under investigation, so is unable to comment further.
Vodafone paid €7.2 million for Ono in March this year as it bids to boost its ailing mobile business in Spain with Ono’s fibre network and 1.9 million customers.
Its most recent financial results, for April to June, showed revenues in Spain declined over 15 percent due to increased competition and growing demand for cheaper SIM-only deals.
Vodafone said it expects to generate €1 billion in extra revenues as a result of the merger.
The Spanish market is set for further upheaval as TeliaSonera sells its Yoigo mobile unit.
Jazztel, which made the first offer for Yoigo in September, is now itself the subject of a takeover bid from Orange.