Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Spain and Germany: margin squeeze remedies and regulatory holidays

Spain: Telefonica in 2008 lost a margin squeeze case, and received a record fine - much higher than Deutsche Telekom (Germany) and France Telecom-Wanadoo (France). Is this justified? The CJEU upheld the DT fine in October 2010.
Germany: the regulator granted DT a regulatory holiday to deploy its VDSL network - was this unfair on competitors? Did it fragment the European market? The CJEU thought so.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rural wholesale broadband price drops

Ofcom in the UK has announced new price cuts of 12% below inflation for wholesale BT products in the 11% of the UK with absolutely no retail competition. They must be desperately hoping that this results in some kind of competition to reduce the need for government funding for higher speed services.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Translation of Dutch net neutralit...

Net neutrality in Europe: Bits of Freedom translation of Dutch net neutralit...: "Despite some obfuscation (and the need for the Senate to undo the messy ideological filtering amendment which confused MPs voted for !), the..."

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

NZ: fibre wholesaler to be TelecomNZ - with regulator holiday for rest of decade?

This is what you call deregulation (well, there's a price cap), from the country that for a decade until 2001 pretended it did not need a telecoms regulator. Well, they barely have broadband unbundled and no cable to speak of, so perhaps their conservative government thinks it has to roll over and beg? "Telecommunications (TSO, Broadband, and Other Matters) Bill and recommended it become law, if several changes are made. The bill paves the way for the Government's $1.35 billion ultra-fast broadband scheme, which plans to lay fibre internet cables across 75 per cent of New Zealand over the next 10 years...the law would remove the Commerce Commission's ability to regulate price on the broadband network until December 31, 2019. The committee made its decision on advice from Crown officials that the forbearance would result in lower wholesale and retail prices "by removing the risk premium" for investors." No kidding it removes risk...competition...progress...
UPDATE: The indigenous Maori Party (which represents rural constituencies in the main) slammed a couple of torpedoes into the regulatory holiday in debate on 17 May - so it's not going to be allowed, thankfully for NZ consumers.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Case C‑52/09, Konkurrensverket v TeliaSonera AB: margin squeeze under Art.102

Note - this refers to conduct dating to April 2000! Court (First Chamber) hereby rules:

In the absence of any objective justification, the fact that a vertically integrated undertaking, holding a dominant position on the wholesale market in asymmetric digital subscriber line input services, applies a pricing practice of such a kind that the spread between the prices applied on that market and those applied in the retail market for broadband connection services to end users is not sufficient to cover the specific costs which that undertaking must incur in order to gain access to that retail market may constitute an abuse within the meaning of Article 102 TFEU.
When assessing whether such a practice is abusive, all of the circumstances of each individual case should be taken into consideration. In particular:
        as a general rule, primarily the prices and costs of the undertaking concerned on the retail services market should be taken into consideration. Only where it is not possible, in particular circumstances, to refer to those prices and costs should those of competitors on the same market be examined, and
        it is necessary to demonstrate that, taking particular account of whether the wholesale product is indispensable, that practice produces an anti-competitive effect, at least potentially, on the retail market, and that the practice is not in any way economically justified.
The following factors are, as a general rule, not relevant to such an assessment:
        the absence of any regulatory obligation on the undertaking concerned to supply asymmetric digital subscriber line input services on the wholesale market in which it holds a dominant position;
        the degree of dominance held by that undertaking in that market;
        the fact that that undertaking does not also hold a dominant position in the retail market for broadband connection services to end users;
        whether the customers to whom such a pricing practice is applied are new or existing customers of the undertaking concerned;
        the fact that the dominant undertaking is unable to recoup any losses which the establishment of such a pricing practice might cause, or
        the extent to which the markets concerned are mature markets and whether they involve new technology, requiring high levels of investment.