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Commission welcomes Dutch regulator’s proposal on fixed and mobile phone termination rates

Commission Européenne - IP/13/760   31/07/2013

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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 31 July 2013

Commission welcomes Dutch regulator’s proposal on fixed and mobile phone termination rates

The European Commission has endorsed the proposal of the Dutch telecoms regulator (ACM) concerning fixed and mobile termination rates. This proposal will bring termination rates – the fees operators charge each other to deliver calls from other networks - down to levels comparable with most other Member States. Since termination rates ultimately influence call prices paid by end users, and Dutch consumers already pay amongst the highest prices for phone calls in Europe, ACM's decision will have a positive effect on consumers and businesses in the Netherlands, while helping to create the conditions for a telecoms single market.

The new rates will apply from 1 September 2013. The new mobile termination rates are less than half of the current price (1.019 eurocents compared to 2.40 eurocents per minute), as are the new fixed termination rates (0.108 eurocents per minute compared to 0.37 eurocents).

European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes said: "The Dutch have the highest mobile call costs in Europe, so lower termination rates will assist consumers, push companies to focus on charging for real value-adding, and help us create a telecoms single market. This proposal brings Netherlands in line with other European countries, which is the fair and right thing to do. "

Background

ACM's current proposal is in line with the calculation method recommended in the Commission's 2009 Recommendation on Termination Rates (see IP/09/710 and MEMO/09/222). The proposal sets the fixed and mobile termination rates on the basis of the recommended ("pure BULRIC") methodology.

On 02 July 2013 the Commission received a draft proposal from ACM concerning the fixed and mobile call termination markets in the Netherlands. ACM (and its predecessor, OPTA) had already made a proposal which followed the Commission's recommended approach for termination rates in 2010. However, these rates were overturned in August 2011 by the Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal. Following this ruling, OPTA proposed new, higher rates in 2012, which triggered a Commission investigation (see IP/12/130), and ultimately led to the adoption of first Commission's recommendation under Article 7a of the Framework Directive (see IP/12/601). The Commission was concerned that the termination rates would ultimately hurt consumers, and asked the Dutch regulator to amend its approach. The proposal endorsed by the Commission today does not relate to the 2010-2013 period, but is a forward-looking proposal to be applied from September 2013.

Article 7 of the Telecoms Framework Directive requires national telecoms regulators to notify the Commission, the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) and telecoms regulators in other EU countries, of the measures they plan to introduce to address the lack of effective competition in the markets in question. Where the Commission issues a "no comments" letter, it concludes that the National Telecoms Regulator can adopt the measure as proposed. The EU telecoms rules also enable the Commission to adopt further harmonisation measures in the form of recommendations or (binding) decisions if divergences in the regulatory approaches of national regulators, including remedies, persist across the EU in the longer term.

Useful Links

The Commission's letter sent to the Dutch regulator will be published at:

https://circabc.europa.eu/

Digital Agenda website

Neelie Kroes' website

Follow Neelie Kroes on Twitter

Contacts

Email: comm-kroes@ec.europa.eu Tel: +32.229.57361

Twitter: @RyanHeathEU


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