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Brussels, 18 June 2002

Commission launches public consultation on product and service markets in electronic communications sector

The European Commission today launched a public consultation concerning a Recommendation(1) on relevant product and service markets in the electronic communications sector. This Recommendation forms part of the new regulatory framework for electronic communications in Europe that will be applied by Member States from July 2003. The new framework responds to the need to provide the best deal for consumers, greater legal certainty for market players, and to roll back regulation where it is no longer required.

The European Commission has launched today a public consultation on a draft Recommendation on relevant product and service markets in the electronic communications sector, as required by the new European Union regulatory legislation that was adopted in February this year (see IP/02/259).

The new regulatory framework, which will be applied by national regulatory authorities from July 2003, represents a comprehensive reform of the existing legislation and is aimed at providing the best conditions for a dynamic and competitive industry in Europe. In particular the new framework:

  • provides a flexible approach for national regulators to adapt regulation to deal with technological and market changes

  • aligns regulation with the principles of European competition law so that the threshold for regulatory intervention is raised

  • rolls back regulation where it is no longer required.

The draft Recommendation issued today identifies and defines the relevant product and service markets that national regulators would be obliged to examine under the new regulatory framework, in order to assess whether these markets are effectively competitive, or conversely, whether regulatory obligations should be applied to dominant market players in order to safeguard the interests of competing players and of consumers. On the issue of whether mobile call termination is to be included beyond the initial version of the Recommendation, the draft states that the Commission will decide on this matter in March 2003.

The public consultation will last for a month. The Commission is also organising a public hearing on this issue to take place in Brussels on 3 July. The final Recommendation will be adopted by the Commission, following additional consultation of national regulatory authorities and national competition authorities.

(1)Available at HYPERLINK ""

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