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EC moots telecoms super-regulator

Competition drive

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The concept of a European super-regulator has been considered in a report from the European Commission, looking at ways in which competition could be increased in the telecommunications business.

As reported by OUT-LAW; the commission has published three reports looking at competitiveness in Europe, one of which examines the idea of setting up a European Regulatory Authority (ERA).

While the report concludes that the majority of the industry is against the idea, it seems that a significant minority believe their local regulatory bodies (NRAs) aren't up to the job.

"Some respondents alleged that their NRA was either lax or ineffective in imposing regulation. There appears to be an expectation that an ERA could alleviate the negative effects of tensions between the NRA and the government in certain countries."

The report does not identify the counties, or respondents, but goes on:

"In support of this notion, an alternative fixed operator stated that an ERA 'would prevent or at least reduce the possibility of political interference'."

Implementation of competitiveness measures has certainly not been uniform across Europe, but in most countries the controls on ex-monopoly players have worked to encourage competition and while most of the ex-monopolies still have "significant market power" (defined as owning more than 25 per cent of the market) they exist in a competitive market where customers do have real choice. ®

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