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Digital Agenda – European Commission questions Italian telecoms proposal
to regulate rates for fixed termination services
The European Commission has called a halt to the plans of the Italian
telecoms regulator (AGCOM) regarding termination rates which would negatively
affect consumers in Italy as well as operators in other Member States.
AGCOM has proposed prices ranging from €0.00206/minute to
€0.00127/minute for fixed termination rates for the years 2013 and 2014.
These are significantly higher than any other Member State where proper
price setting methodologies are applied.
Termination rates are the rates telecoms networks charge each other to
deliver calls between networks, and each operator has market power over access
to customers on its own network.
These costs are ultimately included in call prices paid by consumers
The Commission has serious concerns that the new price regulation
proposed by AGCOM does not comply with the principles and objectives of EU
telecoms rules which require Member States to promote competition and the
interests of consumers in the EU.
European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes said:
"AGCOM's proposal raises concerns about compliance with the regulator's
duty to set tariffs reflecting efficient costs for providing termination
The European Commission is determined to ensure that regulated
termination rates are reduced to similar levels in all Member States without any
"Article 7 of the new Telecoms Framework Directive requires
national telecoms regulators to notify the Commission, BEREC (the Body of
European Regulators for Electronic Communications) and telecoms regulators in
other EU countries, of measures that they plan to introduce to address the lack
of effective competition in the markets in question.
Under the new powers of Article 7 of the Framework Directive, the
Commission, in close cooperation with BEREC will, over the next three months
discuss with AGCOM how to amend its proposal in order to make it compliant with
In the meantime, implementation of the proposal is suspended.
The new rules also enable the Commission to adopt further harmonisation
measures in the form of recommendations or (binding) decisions if divergences in
the regulatory approaches of national regulators, including remedies, persist
across the EU in the longer term.