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Monday, April 28, 2014

European Commission determined to weaken competition in broadband markets

The double whammy of specialized services - blocked by the European Parliament despite Kroes' best attempt to mislead - and very much weakened competition via the draft Recommendation on Relevant Markets is now close. The Recommendation is the Bible of Internet access regulation, and its review has been ongoing since 2012, to reform the 7 markets recommended in 2007.
The EC on 24 March told BEREC to provide a response, and BEREC has only a few days left. Many BEREC members - even Ofcom - are apparently outraged at the second draft, and it will be fascinating to see their consensus response. Will the Germans block a really robust response telling the Commission to get a grip?
Here is the standard analysis via VATM, an opinion that cuts through the technicalities for a less expert audience too: "the second draft has been improved in some aspects compared to the first proposal.... DG CNECT failed introducing essential changes within the new draft. The impression remains that DG CNECT is still pushing further its paradigm shift away from infrastructure-based services competition."
The Commissioner's caving in to incumbents is now so extreme that it calls to mind the last century and an infamous Commissioner's leaving of office. I hope I am incorrect...

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