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Internal Market

PR(08)65: The Authority reduces the list of telecom markets that are subject to special scrutiny

6.11.2008

The EFTA Surveillance Authority adopted yesterday a new Recommendation on relevant product and service markets within the area of telecoms. This Recommendation replaces the original recommendation of 2004 (PR(04)28) which listed 18 markets in the telecoms sector which need to be examined by National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) of the EFTA States. By yesterday’s decision, the Authority reduces the number of markets to 7 and thereby aligns itself with a similar Recommendation revised by the Commission.

The President of the Authority, Per Sanderud, said: “The new Recommendation aims at homogenous application of the regulatory framework for electronic communications throughout the EEA. It should be kept in mind that markets withdrawn from the list will continue to be subject to scrutiny by national authorities in the EFTA States. Telecom regulators may decide to maintain regulation on national markets where competitive conditions do not exist and competition authorities may intervene in case of anti-competitive behaviour in a given market.”

The new Recommendation defines, in accordance with principles of EEA competition law, 7 markets in the sector of electronic communications which may be subject to regulation. These markets have to be regularly analysed by the NRAs and notified to the Authority. As a result of such market analysis, the NRAs can impose certain obligations on telecom operators with significant market power in a given market. Examples of such obligations include requirement to grant access to infrastructure, non-discrimination in contractual relations with other market players or price caps on products and services offered by the operator in question.

The decision whether a market should be included in the Recommendation basically depends on the fulfilment of the so-called three criteria test, i.e. presence of entry barriers, tendency towards effective competition and whether competition law is sufficient to address competition problems on the market. The starting point of the revision process of the Recommendation were the Commission’s conclusions regarding the current status of the telecommunications markets in the EU pillar. Based on market developments in the EFTA States, stakeholders’ comments and other available information, the Authority considers the circumstances of the national markets in general do not seem to differ to a large extent from the average deviations within the EU-27.

Therefore, and in line with the Commission’s new Recommendation on relevant markets, the Authority decided to remove the following markets from the list:

·       National/local residential telephone services from a landline (Market 3)

·       International residential telephone services from a landline (Market 4)

·       National/local business telephone services from a landline (Market 5)

·       International business telephone services from a landline (Market 6)

·       The minimum set of leased lines (Market 7)

·       Transit services in the fixed telephone network (Market 10)

·       Wholesale trunk segments of leased lines (Market 14)

·       Access and call origination on mobile networks (Market 15)

·       International roaming on mobile networks[1] (Market 17)

·       Broadcasting transmission (Market 18)

The new list of markets contains:

·       Access to the fixed telephone network (formerly Market 1 and 2) – new market 1

·       Call origination on the fixed telephone network (formerly Market 8) – new market 2

·       Call termination on individual fixed telephone networks (formerly Market 9) – new market 3

·       Wholesale access to the local loop (formerly Market 11) – new market 4

·       Wholesale broadband access (formerly Market 12) – new market 5

·       Wholesale terminating segments of leased lines (formerly Market 13) – new market 6

·       Voice call termination on individual mobile networks (formerly Market 16) – new market 7

Prior to the adoption of the Recommendation, the Authority carried out a public consultation on the revision of the Recommendation (see PR(08)22). A draft recommendation was also discussed with stakeholders in a workshop organised by the Authority in September.

The Recommendation should be interpreted in light of the Explanatory Note to the Commission’s corresponding recommendation.

The Authority’s new Recommendation on relevant markets is applicable immediately and has been made accessible on the Authority’s webpage under the following link: http://www.eftasurv.int/fieldsofwork/fieldservices/telecoms/ecom/recommendation-electroniccommunications.pdf

 

For further information, please contact:

 

Mr Alfonso Cercas
Officer, Internal Market Affairs Directorate
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 15

 

Ms Agnieszka Montoya-Iwanczuk
Officer, Competition and State Aid Directorate
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 59

 

Ms Kristin Rabstad
National Expert, Competition and State Aid Directorate
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 13

 

 



[1]Ex ante regulation of this market has been replaced by Regulation (EC) No 717/2007 on roaming on public mobile telephone networks, which entered into force in the EFTA States on 22 December 2007.

 




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