Telecom & Access to facilities

Anticompetitive practices

The EU Court of Justice provides guidance on the circumstances in which an infringement of competition law can be imputed to a parent company (Slovak Telekom) (Deutsche Telekom)
Ashurst (London)
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Ashurst (Brussels)
In its ruling in Deutsche Telekom v Commission (C-152/19 P), the European Court of Justice ("ECJ") provided guidance on the application of the Bronner case law to refusal to supply cases, as well as on the relevant facts, and on the circumstances in which an infringement of competition law can (...)

The EU Court of Justice dismisses the appeals lodged by two telecommunications companies against the judgments of the General Court relating to anticompetitive practices on the Slovak market (Slovak Telekom) (Deutsche Telekom)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
The Court of Justice dismisses the appeals lodged by Slovak Telekom and Deutsche Telekom against the judgments of the General Court relating to anticompetitive practices on the Slovak telecommunications market* The fine of € 38 061 963, for which those two companies were found jointly and (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority fines a phone company for abuse of dominance (Orange Romania)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council sanctioned Orange Romania with fines of €14 million* The Competition Council sanctioned Orange Romania with fines of 64.915.183 Lei (approximately €14 MILLION) for abuse of a dominant position. The Competition Authority found that, in 2011-2015, the telephone operator (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority publishes a decision regarding an agreement granting access to infrastructure and support services between two telecom companies (Vodafone / Superonline)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
The Competition Board recently published its reasoned decision on the application filed by Vodafone Net İletişim Hizmetleri AŞ regarding an agreement signed with Superonline İletişim Hizmetleri AŞ. The agreement concerns Vodafone and Superonline granting each other access to their respective (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority publishes guidelines on mobile communication network sharing agreements
European Commission (Brussels)
Romania: Guidelines on Mobile Communication Network Sharing Agreements published* In June 2014, the Romanian Competition Council (RCC) released the ‘Guidelines for the interpretation and application of article 5(2) of the Competition Law no. 21/1996 republished, as subsequently amended, on (...)

The Australian Competition Authority accepts the amended undertaking lodged by the national broadband network owner (NBN)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC accepts NBN Co Special Access Undertaking* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has accepted the varied Special Access Undertaking (SAU) lodged by NBN Co on 19 November 2013. The varied SAU incorporates all of the changes in the ACCC’s notice to vary and replaces the (...)

Dominance

The French Competition Authority rejects a request for interim measures against a dominant telecom company accused of denying access to its fibre-to-the-premises infrastructure (AOTA / Orange)
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
Orange activated fibre offer: the Autorité rejects the complaint of AOTA* The Autorité de la concurrence rejects the AOTA’s complaint regarding Orange’s practices for lack of evidence. The Autorité also announces the launching of an exploratory investigation into the business telecoms market. The (...)

The Slovenian Administrative Court confirms a substantial part of a decision in a case related to abuse of dominant position (Telekom Slovenije)
Fatur Law Firm (Ljubljana)
INTRODUCTION On 9 January 2018, the Administrative Court of the Republic of Slovenia (hereinafter referred to as the Court) ruled in case I U 423/2015-48, brought by Telekom Slovenije against the Slovenian Competition Protection Agency’s (hereinafter referred to as SCPA) decision no. (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority fines three power distribution companies for abusing their dominant market positions by imposing excessive prices to cable operators (CEZ / EVN / Energo-pro)
Mondelez (Sofia)
On May 27, 2015 the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition adopted three separate decisions imposing sanctions on each of the three power distribution companies, and namely CEZ Distribution Bulgaria AD , EVN Bulgaria Electrical Distribution AD and ENERGO-PRO Grids AD for abusing (...)

The Slovenian Competition Authority holds that the incumbent telecom operator abused its dominant position by refusing access to network (Telekom Slovenije)
European Commission (Brussels)
Telekom Slovenije Abuses its Dominant Position by Refusing Access to Network* On 2 February 2015, the Slovenian Competition Protection Agency (CPA) concluded that Telekom Slovenije (Telekom), the incumbent telecom operator, abused its dominant position on the wholesale markets for broadband (...)

The EU Parliament passes a resolution calling on the Commission to unbundle search engines from other commercial services (Google)
Ashurst (Milan)
EU Parliament passes resolution calling on the Commission to unbundle [Google’s] search engines from other commercial services* On 27 November 2014 the European Parliament has passed a non-binding resolution, which called on the Commission to “properly enforce the EU competition rules in order (...)

The Tokyo District Court denies a claim of abuse of dominance in the optical fiber data service market (SB / NTT)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
,
Anderson Mori & Tomotsune (Tokyo)
,
Anderson Mori & Tomotsune (Tokyo)
I. Introduction On 19 June 2014, the Tokyo District Court (“Court”) denied SB’s challenge that NTT (i) abused its superior bargaining position or (ii) engaged in unjust refusal, by bundling optical fibre data services and only allowing SB to lease fibre circuits in a bundle of eight . The Court (...)

The Lazio Administrative Court upholds a fine of €103.8 million for abuse of dominant position in the telecom sector (Telecom Italia)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 8 May 2014, the Lazio Administrative Court (LAC) handed down its judgment upholding the decision of the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) of 9 May 2013, which had imposed a fine of approximately €103.8 million on Telecom Italia for abuse of a dominant position on the Italian (...)

The Competition Authority of Bosnia and Herzegovina following a repeated investigation prosecutes the incumbent telecom operator for obstructing access to its network (BH Telecom)
University of Macau - Faculty of Law (Macau)
On 6 February 2014 the Competition Authority of Bosnia and Herzegovina (KV) in a repeated investigation has established an abuse of dominant position committed by the incumbent telecom operator BH Telecom d.d. The KV has sanctioned the dominant operator for delaying the execution of (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal upholds the Competition Authority’s decision holding that direct access to telecom company subscribers is not an essential facility (Cogent Communications / France Télécom)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Paris)
Introduction At a time when cloud computing is changing the face of the Internet, the decision of the Paris Court of Appeal acts as a reminder that the Internet is primarily a matter of physical wires. In December 2013, the Court ruled on an appeal of a French competition authority (ADLC) (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority rules that leading GSM operator abused its dominant position in the GSM services used in vehicle tracking services by complicating its competitors’ activities via exclusive practices (Turkcell)
Enerjisa (Istanbul)
Leading GSM operator Turkcell fined TL 40 million for abuse of dominance as Council of State annulled the previous decision* According to the Turkish Competition Authority’s (TCA) press release, Turkcell, the leading GSM operator in Turkey, was fined approximately TL 40 million (USD 20 (...)

The Danish Competition Authority accepts commitments from domestic telecom company referring to margin squeeze practices (TDC)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
The Danish Competition Council Accepts Commitments from Denmark’s Largest Broadband Provider* On 18 December 2013 the Danish Competition Council accepted commitments from the Danish telecom-incumbent TDC A/S on the basis of concerns that TDC A/S had potentially abused its dominant position on (...)

Mergers

The German Competition Authority conducts parallel investigation into potential for cartelization and merger review proceedings resulting in a conditional approval of the joint venture (Telekom / EWE)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Telekom and EWE, two of Germany’s largest telecommunications companies, sought to form a joint venture (JV) to expand the fire-optic broadband network in north-western Germany. On 21 March 2019, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) launched two sets of parallel proceedings: an investigation (...)

The German Competition Authority clears the plans of telecommunications companies to jointly expand and operate fiber-optic networks (Telekom Deutschland / EWE)
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
The German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) has cleared the plans of Telekom Deutschland GmbH and EWE AG to jointly expand and operate fiber-optic networks in parts of North West Germany. This is a landmark decision by the FCO in relation to the expansion of fiber optic networks in Germany, (...)

The French Competition Authority clears, subject to remedies, a merger in the mobile virtual networks market (Virgin Mobile / Numericable)
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence clears Virgin Mobile’s acquisition by Numericable* The Autorité de la concurrence has cleared the acquisition of Omer Telecom Limited (“OTL”) by Numericable. OTL is a virtual mobile phone operator operating under the Virgin Mobile brand. This decision takes place (...)

The Netherlands Competition Authority finds that the proposed acquisition may lead to restrictions for other companies on the use of the fiber-optic cable network (KPN / Reggefiber)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
Further investigation needed into planned acquisition of Reggefiber by KPN* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) will launch a more detailed investigation into the planned acquisition of Dutch fiber-optic company Reggefiber by Dutch telecom provider KPN. In 2008, ACM (...)

The South African Competition Commission awaits notification of a merger in the telecom sector (Vodacome / Neotel)
Primerio (Washington)
Telecom adversaries to remain “principled” in their competing bids for 4G spectrum* The telecoms are at it again, and MTN and Vodacom find themselves close together once more. Last October, we reported on their being jointly targeted by competitor Cell C for predatory “on-net” pricing. Today, (...)

Procedures

The England Court of Appeal remits the matter of rate card price in the pay TV market to the CAT for failure to address Ofcom’s competition concerns in detail (British Sky Broadcasting)
Blackstone Chambers (London)
Pay TV: Court of Appeal sends message to the CAT* In its recent decision in British Sky Broadcasting Ltd v Office of Communications [2014] EWCA Civ 133 the Court of Appeal has sent a strong message to the CAT, criticising the Tribunal for its failure to properly consider the reasons (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority allows blocking certain internet services onboard trains of the national railway company as an exception from the net neutrality rule (T-Mobile)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
Telecom company T-Mobile is allowed to restrict free internet access on board trains* The Netherlands Authority for Consumer and Markets (ACM) has concluded that Dutch telecom company T-Mobile is allowed to block certain services such as YouTube and Spotify on the free Wi-Fi-network on board (...)

Regulations

The New Zealand Competition Authority releases draft guidance on its approach to unbundling fibre services from local fibre companies on acceptable terms and prices for broadband retailers
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Draft guidance released on Commission’s approach to unbundled fibre* The Commerce Commission has released draft guidance to help the telecommunications industry understand its approach to monitoring and enforcing obligations on Chorus and the other local fibre companies (LFCs) to allow (...)

The UK Supreme Court considers Article 20 of the EU Framework Directive and finds no justification for the Court of Appeal to set aside the analysis of the CAT as regards ladder pricing in wholesale termination charges for certain non-geographic telephone numbers (BT / Telefónica O2)
Blackstone Chambers (London)
Dogma in telecoms, cream for the CAT: 08- numbers in the Supreme Court* The Supreme Court handed down on 9 July 2014 its judgment in British Telecommunications plc v Telefónica O2 UK Ltd & Ors [2014] UKSC 42. Reversing the decision of the Court of Appeal (blogged on here by Emily Neill), (...)

The Australian Federal Court decides that the Competition Authority cannot hear or determine disputes on agreed terms and conditions in relation to network access charges leading the Authority to cease arbitration of these matters (Telstra Corporation / Vocus Fibre)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC ceases arbitrations following court decision* The Full Federal Court has handed down its decision on a judicial review application originally commenced by Telstra on 3 January 2014. Telstra sought review of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s jurisdiction to arbitrate (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on the financing of the roll-out of broadband networks
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
Executive summary, by the Secretariat * 1. Considering the discussion at the roundtable and delegates’ written submissions, several key points emerge: (1) Nationwide broadband coverage is considered essential for the economic and social development of a country. Ubiquitous access to broadband (...)

The New Zealand Commerce Commission clears acquisition of management rights for the final block of 5MHz radio spectrum in the 700MHz range (Telecom / Crown)
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Press releases published on New Zealand Commerce Commission Telecom granted clearance to acquire previously unsold radio spectrum block* The Commerce Commission has today granted a clearance to Telecom New Zealand Limited (Telecom) that will enable it to acquire the management rights for the (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Authority reports breaches of the Structural Separation Undertaking containing commitments related to vertical integration in the telecom sector (Telstra)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC reports on breaches of Telstra’s SSU* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s annual report on Telstra’s compliance with its Structural Separation Undertaking (SSU) was tabled in Parliament today. The report outlines a number of occasions during the 2012-13 financial year where (...)

The Netherlands Competition Authority carries out an exploratory study into possible risks to competition in the business market for text messaging services
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM sees points for attention in the business text messaging market* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) has carried out an exploratory study into possible risks to competition in the business market for text messaging services. Given the conclusions of the study, ACM (...)

The Chinese NDRC and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology jointly issue a notice announcing liberalizing pricing of the telecommunication services
AnJie Law (Beijing)
China Deregulates Pricing in Telecommunication Sector* China has seen another far-reaching step towards deregulating the strictly regulated telecommunication sector. On May 9, 2014, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the P.R.C. (MIIT) and the National Development and Reform (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission releases final report into the regulation of fixed line telecommunications services
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC finalises inquiry into regulation of fixed line services* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) today released its final report into the regulation of fixed line telecommunications services. It has decided to continue regulating wholesale services supplied using (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on its analysis of the wholesale fast and super fast broadband markets
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence delivers its opinion to ARCEP as part of the fourth round of analysis of the wholesale fast and superfast broadband markets.* Following a referral by the French Telecommunications and Posts Regulator (hereinafter ARCEP), the Autorité de la concurrence today (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission revokes regulations requiring telecom operator to report on its wholesale and retail operations (Telstra)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC revokes Telstra accounting separation reporting requirements* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has revoked regulations requiring Telstra to report to the ACCC on its wholesale and retail operations, known as the Accounting Separation Record Keeping Rules. The ACCC was (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Authority concludes its inquiry on transmission regulation
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC concludes its inquiry on transmission regulation* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has concluded its inquiry into the regulation of transmission services (known as the Domestic Transmission Capacity Service or ’DTCS’). The ACCC has decided to maintain regulation for a (...)

The New Zealand Commerce Commission seeks submissions on its proposed approach to setting the rate of return on capital for the unbundled copper local loop network and the unbundled bitstream access service
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Press releases published on New Zealand Commerce Commission Commission consults on cost of capital for telecommunications price reviews* The Commerce Commission is seeking submissions on its proposed approach to setting the rate of return on capital for the unbundled copper local loop (UCLL) (...)

The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission announces a new public consultation on the state of competition on the market for wholesale mobile wireless services
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation (Vancouver)
Competition & Wireless: Want Your Say on Roaming, Wireless Regulation? CRTC Launches New Public Consultation* Earlier today, and close on the heels of the announcement of winners in the Government’s 700 MHz spectrum auction yesterday (see: here), the CRTC has announced that it is launching (...)

The New Zealand Commerce Commission releases a paper on price determination according to the final pricing principle regarding the unbundled bitstream access (Chorus)
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Press releases published on New Zealand Commerce Commission Commerce Commission releases UBA process and issues paper* The Commerce Commission has today released a paper which outlines the proposed process for pricing Chorus’ wholesale broadband – the unbundled bitstream access (UBA) service - (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission releases draft reports proposing to maintain the existing regulation of wholesale services supplied using copper network, other fixed line infrastructure and transmission routes (Telstra)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC releases draft reports on transmission and fixed line network regulation* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is currently reviewing the scope of its regulation of telecommunications services. It has today released draft reports that propose to largely maintain the existing (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission releases a report of its draft decision to continue regulating the termination of calls on mobile phone networks
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC releases draft report on regulation of access to mobile networks* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has today released a report of its draft decision to continue regulating the termination of calls on mobile phone networks. It is also proposing to regulate the termination (...)

The Kenyan Communications Commission launches a strategic plan for the ICT sector and discloses its cooperation project with the Competition Authority aiming at ensuring the transparency of all mobile money transfer platforms
Primerio (Washington)
Mobile Telecom and Payments sector getting boost from state in Kenya* According to a release by the Kenyan Communications Commission (CCK), the CCK is cooperating with the country’s Competition Authority (CAK) to enhance the mobile telecoms sector in Kenya. The CCK is aiming for 90% of all (...)

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