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IP/07/665

Brussels, 14 May 2007

Telecommunications: Commission endorses the Polish regulator's modified market analysis of retail access market

Today the Commission has taken a Decision endorsing the Polish telecom regulator's amended proposal concerning the market for access to fixed telephony services. On 13 March 2007, the Commission told the Polish regulator UKE that broadband access services should not be included in the definition of the market. The Commission also suggested to UKE to enforce without delay regulation at wholesale level in order to improve competition in the Polish broadband market. The UKE's modified definition now excludes all retail broadband services.

"I welcome the Polish regulator decision to impose measures at wholesale level. This will make a significant contribution to the development of competition in the Polish broadband market and will accelerate the development of this basic infrastructure of the information society," said Viviane Reding, the EU's Telecoms Commissioner. "I restate the availability of the Commission to help UKE to identify the most appropriate way to regulate this important sector to the benefit of the consumers."

UKE's notification follows the Commission's decision of 10 January 2007 requiring the Polish regulator to withdraw its previous draft measures on the market for access to the fixed public telephone network (see IP/07/45). The basis for this decision was that UKE's evidence did not support the inclusion of relevant retail broadband access products in the market definition.

In its revised analysis UKE still partially included retail broadband access in the market. In its letter of 13 March 2007, the Commission, thereby opening Phase II of the procedure, seriously doubted whether UKE had defined the relevant market appropriate to national circumstances in accordance with the principles of competition law. In particular, UKE had not presented sufficient evidence to include any retail broadband access services in the narrowband fixed telephony access market. The Commission acknowledged UKE's concerns about possible anticompetitive behaviour in the Polish retail broadband market and invited UKE to enforce without delay the obligations imposed in the wholesale broadband access which will also have an impact on retail prices.

During the Phase II-procedure, the European Regulators Group (ERG), which comprises the Heads of the national telecom regulators of all EU Member States, supported the Commission's analysis with an opinion. "I welcome that in this important case, the Commission was able to rely on the competent advice given to the Commission by the national telecom regulators united in the European Regulators Group", said EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding.

More detailed information on this case can be found at the following address:

http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/policy/ecomm/article_7/

Further information on the EU Telecom Rules and their reform can be found at:

http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/policy/ecomm/

On the Article 7-procedure, see also: MEMO/07/107

Website of the European Regulators Group (ERG): http://erg.eu.int/


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