A draft decision from the Dutch regulator, endorsed by the European Commission , identifies cable operator VodafoneZiggo and incumbent operator KPN as having collective significant market power (SMP) on the wholesale fixed broadband access market. The result of the market analysis is the imposition of third party wholesale access obligations to both networks.
Says Matthias Kurth, Executive Chairman of Cable Europe: “When landmark regulatory decisions like these are taken they need to be based on objective criteria with strong, convincing evidence of market failure. I believe the European Commission has not taken enough time to look into the specifics of the case. A more in-depth analysis (a so-called phase two procedure) should have been undertaken. The Commission has missed an opportunity to properly scrutinise the draft decision, in particular with regard to the collective dominance instrument.
“The Dutch regulator’s analysis has too many open-ended and unclear points and has not sufficiently taken into account that there is a commercial access offer in the market. The Dutch broadband market is best in class in Europe and has a strong competitive outlook. It is now for the Dutch regulator to take utmost account of the Commission’s comments. We will closely follow whether these comments will have an impact on the regulator’s remedy decisions,” concluded Kurth.