The Integration of Competition Law Principles in the New European Regulatory Framework for Electronic Communications

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Abstract

A new regulatory framework for electronic communications (fixed and mobile telephony, Internet, cable TV, ...) is due to be applicable in the Member States of the European Union in July 2003. One of the main important aspects of the framework is the regulation of the operators enjoying significant market power, which has now been aligned on competition law principles. This paper describes the three steps to be followed by a national regulatory authority to impose obligations upon these operators: selection of markets to be regulated and delineation of their boundaries, determination of the dominant operators on these markets, and choice of the remedies to be imposed. The paper then characterises the remaining differences between sectoral law and general competition law. Finally, the paper underlines the implicit vision of the new framework: economic sectoral law is a complementary tool -and not a substitute to- competition law, and would only intervene in case of hard-core market power that antitrust would be inefficient to control.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-514
Number of pages26
JournalWorld Competition
Volume28
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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