Monday, 16 September 2013

Italian NCA rejects RTI's complaint against Sky

"There are no conditions to accuse SKY of abusing a dominant position in relation to the purchase of the TV rights for the football tournament matches of the UEFA Champions League in the seasons from 2012 to 2015, and for broadcasting the World Cups in 2010 and 2014. The Antitrust decided this, closing the investigation initiated against the company in November 2010 concerning TV rights for the World Cup and extended to July 2011 for the purchase of TV rights for the Uefa Champions League for the seasons 2012-2015." (see AGCM's press release).

Court' s decision and AG's Opinion in Sky Italia case

The CGEU decided in case C-234/12 (operative part of which follows:

"Article 4(1) of Directive 2010/13/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 March 2010 on the coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the provision of audiovisual media services (Audiovisual Media Services Directive), as well as the principle of equal treatment and Article 56 TFEU must be interpreted as not precluding, in principle, a national rule, such as that at issue in the main proceedings, which lays down shorter hourly television advertising limits for pay-TV broadcasters than those set for free-to-air broadcasters, provided that the principle of proportionality is observed, which is a matter for the referring court to assess."

See also AG Kokott's Opinion here.

AGCM - AGCOM protocol signed

AGCM - AGCOM protocol signed (see Italian NCA's press release and protocol in italian).

Telecom Italia fined with 103,7 million euro for abuse of its dominant position in network infrastructure

"Telecom Italy abused, using two distinct behaviours, the dominant position it holds in the provision of wholesale access to the local network and broadband, hindering the expansion of competitors in markets for voice telephony services and broadband internet access. The Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato established this, which then warned the company about repeating such behaviours in the future and penalised it with a total fine of 103.794 million Euro" (see AGCM's press release).

Polish NCA approves NETIA taking over a part of the UPC network

"The President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) has granted approval for the takeover by Netia of a part of the network providing television, Internet and telephone access services in buildings where these services were formerly provided by UPC and Aster prior to the merger of both these operators" (see press release).

FICORA's 2012 annual report issued

FICORA's 2012 annual report issued.

FICORA issues opinion on personal data contained in consumer billing

"The Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority (FICORA) has issued an opinion according to which the same principles should be applied to the protection of bill itemisation data while it is being transferred and handled as are applied to the protection of personal data related to payments transfers" (see related page here).

Expert Committee issues favourable opinion on introduction of VDSL2 technology into France Telecom's copper local loop

"On 26th April, the Expert Committee on Copper Systems - an independent committee whose members include France Telecom, network operators and equipment suppliers - voiced its approval for the introduction of VDSL2 into the France Telecom copper local loop" (see ARCEP's press release).

BIPT decides to lift universal service obligations relating to the provision of public pay phones

The Belgian NRA decided to lift  universal service obligations relating to the provision of public pay phones (see related page here).

Italian NRA approves fixed call origination, transit and termination charges

AGCOM approves fixed call origination, transit and termination charges (see press release, in italian).

Italian NRA consults on fibre products' tarrifs that fall into markets 4 and 5, as well as on the tariff of end-to-end service product

Italian NRA consults on fibre products' tarrifs in relation to market 4 and 5 as well as tariff of end-to-end service (see press release).

Greek NRA consults on BU pure LRIC model in fixed call termination

Greek NRA consults on BU pure LRIC model in fixed call termination (see press release and document, in greek).

Commision's Art. 7 Comments to the Irish NRA's review of the wholesale broadcasting transmission services market

Commision's Art. 7 Comments to ComReg's review of the wholesale broadcasting transmission services market:

"Need to monitor the effectiveness of ex ante regulation
 

The market for broadcasting transmission services is no longer recommended by the Commission for ex ante regulation, as greater platform competition and fewer capacity constraints, mainly due to the transition from analogue to digital transmission platforms, should render it effectively competitive.
 

The Commission notes, however, that the terrestrial broadcasting markets in Ireland present strong features of lack of competitive conditions, with only one vertically integrated supplier so far, and therefore appear to warrant ex ante regulation.
 

However, the Commission notes also that — following successful completion of a contract award process that would be conducted by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland — entry of a number of commercial DTT multiplex operators on Market B may occur within the timeframe of the review and could therefore impact the competitive dynamics on the market.
 

The Commission therefore invites ComReg to closely monitor the development of competition in the two markets (and in particular Market B) in terms of infrastructure and services competition at both the retail and wholesale level and re-assess the need for and appropriateness of the remedies imposed if necessary."

Commission opens phase II procedure on Austrian NRA's review of the wholesale terminating segments of leased lines market

The European Commission opened phase II procedure on Austrian NRA's review of the wholesale terminating segments of leased lines market (see art. 7 comments & decision here).

ARCEP issues decision on cost accounting obligations in mobile call termination

ARCEP issues decision on cost accounting obligations in mobile call termination (see here in French).

BEREC's Opinion on German FTRs case

"Following its role and rules BEREC adopted its opinion, stating that the expressed serious doubts by the European Commission are justified" (see press release).

EU and Switzerland sign Cooperation Agreement in Competition Matters

EU and Switzerland sign Cooperation Agreement in Competition Matters (see Commission's press release).

ECN Brief's 02/2013 interesting bits

- Portuguese NCA publishes Guidelines on Handling of Antitrust Proceedings (see here).
- Portuguese NCA adopts Guidelines on Fines (see here).
- Austrian NCA revises manual on leniency (see here).
- New Belgian Competition Authority and new Competition Act (see here).
- Swedish Market Court upholds City Court’s Decision finding Abuse in Telia Sonera Case (see here).

Nordic and Baltic NRAs call for labelling scheme on mobile receiver performance

"The Director Generals agree in addressing the European Commission on an important issue for the consumers both in the Nordic/Baltic countries, as in the rest of Europe: Experiences from all the countries are that smartphones vary a lot when it comes to receiver performance. The actual device or mobile phone used, has a great impact on reception quality at the users end.

Antennas are also a crucial part in any wireless communication device, and the design can be very complex in modern smart phones due to a number of limitations, one of them being space, the Directors stated.

Mobile phone reception performance can vary greatly from model to model, and depends as well on how the user holds the phone during operation. This variation is not satisfactory, as it is complicated for the consumer to get information about this prior to buying the device.

The Nordic and Baltic countries find it crucial with consumer transparency on the mobile phones receiver performance. Therefore, the group ask the Commission to establish a labelling scheme to improve transparency, like other areas (ie energy consumption)." (see the press release).

FTC issues modified final order settling alleged anticompetitive acquisition of Hitachi Global by Western Digital

"Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved and issued a modified final Decision and Order settling charges that Western Digital Corporation’s proposed acquisition of rival Hitachi Global Technologies Ltd. would have been anticompetitive in the market for hard disk drives used in desktop personal computers" (see press release).