Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Europe - Court overturns regulatory holidays for German incumbent

[euractiv] Germany's laws give preferential treatment to the country's main telecoms company Deutsche Telekom, according to a ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) yesterday (3 December), dealing a blow to dominant operators across Europe.

In what the European Commission is calling a precedent-setting case, Germany has been told to stop giving its dominant telecoms operator, a former state-run monopoly, so-called regulatory holidays – a relaxation of competition rules.

The ruling concerns a German law that entered into force in 2006, which, according to the Commission, allowed Deutsche Telekom to bypass EU rules on regulation.

The Commission's rules, bolstered last month with the adoption of a new telecoms package, say markets must be subject to "a solid, independent analysis by the national regulatory authority".

However, the German law foresaw such an analysis "only in exceptional circumstances," allowing Deutsche Telekom to prevent competitors from accessing to its new high-speed broadband network

EU court 'sets precedent' in Germany telecoms
See also Case C‑424/07 European Commission v. Federal Republic of Germany

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