Friday, 13 August 2010

SUMMER BREAK...

Since i am heading towards some of Greece's beautiful islands, i would like to wish to everyone, a nice summer with plenty of joyful and relaxing moments. Hopefully by the mid of September the layout of the blog will change and other writters will contribute. Lastly, i would like to personally thank you all, since the past 4 months have been quite rewarding.

EETT approves 8 out of 10 OTE's consumer offers

OTE gave out a press release (in greek) yesterday criticising EETT's decision for banning OTE's most attractive offers in the market (double play). The NRA proclaims that its decision is deemed to be necessary in order to secure a competitive market. Even though these two offers are indeed attractive to consumers, they may harm competition in the long run according to EETT.

Commenting on the issue it should be mentioned that one of OTE's arguments does not stand. The argument refers to the fact that alternative operators hold as much as 50% of the market. However, this may not affect OTE's SMP. On the other hand, it could affect the regulatory measure to be imposed. The measures could be less strict requiring OTE to provide other concessions for its offers to be approved. EETT in a strange announcement refers to predatory pricing (a strategy which is not a clear cut case for authorities...woldwide) and margin squeeze methods that are not in line with competition law. EETT is competent to rule on issues involving breach of competition law in the electronic communications sector. Nevertheless, here we have a regulatory decision. No appreciation on how can OTE's offers breach competition law is carried out. Lastly, a personal remark is that since we have reached an arguably good standard of competition in the market (referring especially to broadband access), it could be now the time for our NRA to start reconsidering its approach againts OTE. Competition in the market is simply a means whereas benefit to consumers is the end (or not?). Putting other parameters into the equation is necessary for a succesful outcome and one of those parameters should be the motive to invest.

Consultation on interconnection charging methods

Terra consulting expects comments on its draft final study report on BAK (see the press release and draft final report).

Commission opens investigations against IBM

The Commission has opened two investigations against IBM (see the press release). The first one regards tying of IBM's mainframe computing hardware to its mainframe computing software not allowing third party software applications to run on its hardware. The second one involves discrimination as against competing suppliers of mainframe maintenance services.

Austria fined for failing to transpose the Data Retention Directive

According to the CJEU, Austria failed to transpose the Data Retention Directive (decision in french).

Telecom tax in favour of Spanish and French public broadcasters

The Commission has declared telecom taxes in favour of the Spanish and French public broadcasters, as compatible with state aid rules (but not given yet a definite answer as to whether those taxes are compatible with the EU regulatory framework: see europeantelecommunicationlaw.blogspot.com).

The abovementioned taxes come as part of a state plan to change the bublic broadcasters' funding, being deprived from financing through ads. The cases have some interest for the Greek riality as well where the public broadcaster (ERT) is financed through electricity taxes as well as from ads.