Broadband cable trade body Cable Europe is urging the European Commission not to accept Dutch regulator ACM’s draft broadband market analysis, which has concluded that multiplay operator VodafoneZiggo holds “joint significant market power (SMP)” together with Dutch incumbent operator KPN.
As a direct consequence, both operators will have to provide wholesale access to third parties. The analysis now rests with the European Commission, which has the power to accept or reject the proposed measures.
“This proposed intervention in the Dutch market is anachronistic and runs contrary to the consumer interest,” stated Matthias Kurth, Executive Chairman of Cable Europe. “My first reaction is one of astonishment. The Dutch market is highly competitive and is often cited as best in class by international observers. It scores high on the Commission Digital Economy and Society Index. Consumers have the choice between two very fast broadband services practically everywhere in the country. The market is extremely dynamic and characterised by innovation, quality of service and affordable prices and there is a commercial wholesale access offer in the market (KPN).”
“Imposing onerous regulation using the concept of joint SMP in a market with these characteristics will set a negative precedent in Europe. Regulatory intervention comes with risks which are often difficult to gauge in advance. The negative consequences of this proposed regulation will outweigh any marginal improvements the regulator is seeking to achieve. I hope the Commission will examine this analysis with great care and conclude that the Dutch market and its citizens already benefit from effective competition,” he added.