Telefónica calls for competition rules change
February 24, 2022
From David Del Valle in Madrid
Telefónica has urged Spain’s competition regulator Comisión Nacional de Los Mercados y la Competencia (CNMC) to change competition rules concerning Movistar Plus as, with the boom of streaming services, the platform has not a “dominant position” in the market anymore and therefore legal obligations on it to share premium content with others should be lifted.
“We have to weigh up all scenarios, but first we have to know how we will be able to compete,” asserted José María Alvarez Pallete, president of Telefónica, regarding a possible sale of Movistar. “Before defining any alliance we have to know which is our capacity to compete; we do not want more regulation for others but deregulation for us”, he underlined.
In his opinion, CNMC should revise competition rules that impose severe limits on Movistar Plus in order to guarantee competition, limits approved back in 2015 when Telefónica acquired Digital Plus (now Movistar Plus) from Prisa Group. As a results of these limits, Movistar must share premium content with others under CNMC conditions. If not, the company may face important fines such as the €3 million fine imposed by the regulator for failing to comply with its obligations as for access for its networks.
Meanwhile, Telefónica has announced the creation of a Fibreco company to deploy fibre optics in rural areas in Spain, covering 5 million people. The company will allow local investors to participate.