Category: Competition

The increasing uncertainty about mobile consolidation in Europe

    Mobile consolidation within domestic markets has always been in the European telcos’ wish list. However, in the last 5 years this ambition hardly clashed with the European Commission’s approach, in the persons of Margareth Vestager, heading the Competition directorate (“DG COMP”) of the…

Unlike the Shopping Case, now the European Commission strikes at heart Google’s dominance

Today’s decision of the European Commission strikes at the heart of the dominance of Google, namely its dominance in the Internet search, but not its business model and its ability to provide popular and innovative services. The Commission has in fact sanctioned the (alledged)…

The Vodafone-Liberty Global merger in Germany: the antitrust chances, pro & contra

The antitrust decision about the acquisition of several assets of Liberty Global by Vodafone will be a real dilemma for the competent offices of the European Commission, aka the Competition Directorate (“DG COMP”) lead by the Danish commissioner Margaret Vestager. During the current mandate,…

Why the end of roaming surcharges is not the start of a Single Telecom Market

The single telecom market which had to be In the last few years many people, including me, believed that the phasing-out of roaming surcharges would have shaken the European telecom market, transforming the current puzzle of distinct domestic markets into a unified, single and…

Big and small telcos: EU merger policy, between domestic and cross-border consolidation

Today’s news, that Telenor and TeliaSonera are going to abandon the planned merge of their Danish assets, will play a pivotal role in the incoming years. The nordic companies have decided to make a step back following the conditions imposed by the European Commission…

The European Parliament opens the eyes over lack of competition in European telecoms

Today the European Parliament voted an important motion for resolution on the Annual Report on EU Competition Policy. The report concerns, inter alia, the competitiveness situation in the European Telecom sector. The European Parliament reminds the importance of competition for investments, innovation and consumer welfares,…

The new US order about net neutrality and Internet, and the impact upon Europe

The FCC, the US regulator for telecoms and Internet, will soon adopt a fundamental decision in the matter of telecom and Internet regulation: as anticipated by various sources, US broadband access will be soon classified as a telecommunication service (while it is currently classified…

The European Commission stops easy consolidation in the telecom markets

The European Commission has started a Phase II investigation regarding an envisaged concentration in the Spanish telecommunications market, regarding the acquisition of Jazztel (a pure fixed operator) by Orange (a Spanish subsidiary of the French incumbent delivering both fixed and mobile services). The decision…

Broadband rural development: the “déjà vu” from the European Commission

While people are still speculating about what will be the approach of the new European Commission to boost investments in broadband, Mr. Oettinger – the (German) commissioner for the Digital Agenda – launched a provocative proposal via his blog: in order to boost investments…

The new relevant market recommendation: Kroes playing the last (deregulatory) trump

The European Commission has published the new recommendation on relevant markets, i.e. the document which will guide the national regulators (“NRAs”) in assessing competition in the EU and imposing regulatory remedies such as access to networks, price control, non-discrimination and so on. The European…

Telefonica/KPN: hard time for consolidation and weddings in the mobile market

The Competition directorate of the European Commission, lead by Joachim Almunia, has started an in-depth analysis of the proposed merger between the German mobile branches of Telefonica and KPN. The procedure, so called “Phase II” under the merger rules, will analyze in details the…

The European telecom regulators reject the Single Market proposal

(See below the Update of October 17, 2013, concerning the final opinion of Berec) Berec, the European agency based in Riga representing the national telecom regulators (such as AGCOM, ARCEP, OFCOM ecc) published a statement reacting negatively to the Single Market proposal announced by…