Using new powers under Article 7a of the Telecoms Directive ( MEMO11/321 ) the European Commission has halted plans by Polish telecoms regulator (UKE) to set mobile termination rates for AERO2, a Polish mobile operator, without conducting a market analysis first. UKE’s proposal would set rates at more than double the prices offered by AERO2’s four main competitors, without justifying why such rates are needed. The arbitrary nature of this proposal therefore violates a key EU regulatory principle.
Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda, said on the subject of MTRs: “National Regulatory Authorities have to promote efficiency, sustainable competition and maximum benefit to end users. It is important that UKE abides by these principles in order to ensure the proper functioning of the market for the benefit of Polish and European consumers.”
Under EU telecoms rules, UKE, like all other EU regulators, is obliged to assess the competitive conditions in various sectors of the national telecoms market. Regulators may only impose price controls, or any other suitable, proportionate and reasonable remedies, once their market analysis has concluded there is lack of effective competition. The Commission is concerned that, in breaking this fundamental principle, UKE’s approach lacks predictability and creates barriers to the development of an internal market.
This is the second Commission warning send to UKE this month about its approach to mobile termination rates. Here to read more.