On Market, Competition and Regulation in the EU Telecom Sector
a significantly amended version was published as "Reshaping Market, Competition and Regulation in EU Utility LIberalization: A Perspective From Telecom", Common Market Law Review 52(4), 977-1007
21 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2015 Last revised: 19 Sep 2015
Date Written: February 4, 2015
The liberalized telecom sector is pervasively confronted with two challenges, conflicts between the market mechanism and sector-specific regulation on the one hand and conflicts between sector-specific regulation and competition law on the other hand. While the former has been taken care by the academia and the legislation for decades, the latter attracts comparatively less attention so far. Recent EU antitrust enforcement nevertheless pinpoints acute conflicts between the two economic instruments, and telecom regulation was interrupted by EU competition law. While the constitutional value of EU competition law establishes its supremacy over telecom regulation, it is observed that the European Commission has over-stretched competition rules for regulatory or political purposes. More importantly, such a distorted application does not bring prominent added value to effective competition in particular in the long term in comparison with sector-specific regulation. Consequently, it is suggested to mitigate the conflicts between the two instruments through an amended coordination mechanism based on the current Article 7 procedure within telecom regulation.
Keywords: Competition Law, Sector-specific Regulation, Conflict, Telecom, European Union
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