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Internal Market

PR(08)22:Call for comments on relevant markets in telecommunications


Today, the EFTA Surveillance Authority launched a public consultation on the revision of its Recommendation on relevant product and service markets within the electronic communications sector. This Recommendation was originally adopted in 2004 and served as a basis for National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) of the EFTA States to identify and analyse telecommunications markets liable for sector-specificregulation. National administration, telecom operators, consumers as well as all other interested third parties are invited to send their comments before 16 July 2008.

The President of the Authority, Per Sanderud said: “I am pleased to announce this consultation which is open to all stakeholders in electronic communications sector. The revision of the Recommendation on relevant markets will, in my view, contribute to legal certainty for the market players and ultimately to the benefit of consumers”.

The current Recommendation on relevant markets defines, in accordance with principles of EEA competition law, 18 markets in the sector of electronic communication which may be subject to specific regulation (ex ante). This occurs in the form of imposition of certain obligations by the NRAs of the EFTA States on operators having significant market power in a given market. Examples of such regulated markets are call termination in fixed and mobile networks, wholesale access to the local loop or broadband access. 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 Authority’s current Recommendation corresponds to a similar document adopted by the Commission in 2003 for the EU Member States. In December 2007, the Commission revised its Recommendation on relevant markets following a long process of public consultation. On the basis of markets developments, experience with the markets by NRAs as well as by taking a forward-looking perspective, the Commission has cut the number of markets which may be subject to ex ante regulation from 18 to 7. This change reflects a principle that ex ante regulation should be reduced progressively as competition in the markets develops.

In order to provide for a homogenous application of the regulatory framework for electronic communication throughout the EEA, the Authority launches the present consultation on the amendment of its own Recommendation on relevant markets. The starting point of this revision process are the Commission’s conclusions regarding the current status of the telecommunications markets as expressed in the Explanatory Memorandum and the new Commission Recommendation on relevant markets. The aim of the Authority is to collect comments from public authorities, market players, other stakeholders and consumers as to whether the market developments in the EFTA States are similar to those in the EU Member States which led to the result of the Commission’s own revision process.

The consultation paper has been made accessible on the webpage of the Authority. Comments should reach the Authority at the latest by 16 July 2008, preferably in English and via e-mail addressed to

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 & State Aid Directorate
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 59


16 May 2008


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