EU competition law and regulation in the converging telecommunications, media and IT sectors

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Series Details Vol.20
Publication Date 2006
ISBN 90-411-2469-1
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Of the major industries formerly characterized by a high degree of state monopoly control, telecommunications is proving to be increasingly susceptible to market failure. The fundamental causes of this difficulty, according to the author of this far-reaching analysis, are two-fold: abusive behaviour of incumbents aimed at foreclosing competitors, and the regulatory challenges posed by the technological convergence of the telecommunications, media, and IT sectors. The answers, the author shows, lie in the enforcement of specially-crafted competition rules and proportionate, targeted sectoral regulation.

This book presents a thorough going model to ensure the emergence of a genuinely competitive electronic communications industry in Europe. In the course of its in-depth analysis, the discussion focuses on such factors as the following: EU telecommunications policy as revealed in liberalization and harmonization legislative measures; the EU electronic communications framework; case law covering issues of refusal to supply and the essential facilities doctrine; application of Article 82 EC to bottlenecks; specific types of an undertaking's unilateral behaviour that may often occupy NRAs and competition authorities in the context of their ex post competition law investigations under Article 82 EC; strategic alliances and mergers in the move toward multimedia; access to premium content and the emergence of new media; the scope of content regulation in the online environment; and broadband (regulation of local loop unbundling and bitstream access).

The book also provides practical guidance on issues concerning the complicated market definition and analysis mechanism promulgated by the European Commission's Recommendation and Guidelines. Numerous legislative and policy documents are presented in full detail, with analysis taking into account the comments delivered by all interested parties (e.g. the European Commission, national competent authorities, and market players such as fixed incumbent operators, alternative operators, internet service providers, mobile operators, cable operators, associations of undertakings, and associations of consumers).

No other book will provide interested readers with such crucial insight into the reasons behind the Commission's strategy and the often contradictory interests of market players. Because the argument is scrupulously grounded in informed awareness of existing and emerging realities, this landmark volume will quickly establish itself as a resource to be consulted and followed for many years to come.

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