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First review of markets in new regulatory framework for electronic communication planned for the end of 2005

European Commission - IP/04/845   02/07/2004

Other available languages: FR DE

IP/04/845

Brussels, 2nd July 2004

First review of markets in new regulatory framework for electronic communication planned for the end of 2005

The Commission will maintain - until the end of 2005 - the present list of electronic communications markets that national regulatory authorities can subject to so-called “ex ante” regulation. The list is contained in a Commission Recommendation on relevant markets and services, which was adopted on 11 February 2003 (the “Recommendation”) (see IP/03/221). Updating the Recommendation at the end of 2005, rather than in June 2004, will provide a period of stability and legal certainty for market players and will lead to a more meaningful assessment of the relevant markets.

Four factors influenced the Commission in setting this schedule for its review of relevant markets in the field of electronic communications:

  • First, launching a review of the current Recommendation on relevant markets would unnecessarily increase the level of uncertainty for market players. It would also entail a substantial disruption of the work plans of national regulators, which have been, and continue to be, based on the current Recommendation;
  • Second, some Member States have not yet put in place the new regulatory framework for electronic communications. These Member States are Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Greece, Luxembourg, Malta and Poland;
  • Third, even those Member States that have properly incorporated the regulatory framework into their domestic rules have not yet completed the market analyses for all the 18 markets mentioned in the Recommendation;
  • Fourth, the pace of change in the markets for electronic communication is not such that an early review would appear justified or that there should be changes to the definition of any of the markets included in the Recommendation.

Reviewing the Recommendation at the end of 2005 will also enable the Commission to gain a better understanding of the situation of electronic communications markets in all Member States, and in particular in the Member States which joined the European Union on 1 May 2004.

Background

The Recommendation on relevant markets and services, which was adopted on
11 February 2003[1], comprises a list of electronic communications markets designated to be subject to ex ante regulation. It complements the 6 directives that make up the EU’s regulatory framework for electronic communications, and identifies those markets that may warrant ex-ante intervention by regulatory authorities. National regulatory authorities are to carry out market analyses for each of the markets included in this list. If one or more operators in the market are found to have significant market power, national regulatory authorities must impose at least one regulatory obligation on such operators. If no operator is deemed to have significant market power, regulation must be rolled back. In the Recommendation, the Commission undertook to review the need for any update no later than
30 June 2004.


[1] Commission Recommendation 2003/311/EC of 11 February 2003 on relevant product and services markets within the electronic communications sector susceptible for ex ante regulation in accordance with Directive 2002/21/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 March 2002 on a common regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services, OJ L114, 8.5.2003, p. 45.


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