PRESS RELEASE: CTU Council decision: CTU will currently not impose temporary regulatory measures on the wholesale mobile market
Prague, 8 April 2022 – Czech Telecommunication Office will not issue the measure of general nature - market analysis no. A/3/xx.2022-x to impose temporary regulatory measures at the wholesale mobile market. CTU Council members have taken this decision by voting 3:2 at their meeting on Thursday.
The Czech Telecommunication Office Council have studied results of the public consultation of the draft measure of general nature - market analysis no. A/3/xx.2022-x of market no. 3 – wholesale access to mobile services, in which CTU proposed temporary regulatory measures at the wholesale market. Except for the three mobile network operators, CTU received massive support for the opinion that the market should be regulated. CTU planned to apply measures according to Section 131 of the Electronic Communications Act which contains in Paragraph 5 a possibility for CTU to adopt temporary measures without consent of the European Commission in case of an urgent need to protect competition and interests of the users. The CTU Council has now decided not to use this option.
Czech Telecommunication Office also received a disagreement letter from the European Commission on the matter in which the EC presented a legal interpretation diverging for the one held by CTU. Furthermore, CTU also received a negative standpoint of the NCA (ÚOHS). External experts have warned that leaving this option aside might lead to further deterioration of the situation on the market.
European Commission, inter alia, continues stating that the structure of the Czech market does not support the conclusion of CTU about the existence of joint significant market power and that the same or similar results, which CTU intended to achieve by the temporary measures, will be achieved by the obligations already imposed in frame of the 5G radio frequencies auction.
Arguments saying that it was necessary to bridge the critical period until the auction obligations bring the foreseen effects, bearing in mind the existential threat for MVNOs, were not take into account by the European Commission. The EC does not even take into consideration some conclusions of BEREC stating, inter alia, that the Czech mobile market is not an effectively competitive market and that there are significant market failures thereon.
Czech Telecommunication Office still wants to contribute to foster competition on the Czech mobile telecommunications market. Currently, CTU is inhibited in its efforts by the European Commission and the disapproving standpoint of ÚOHS. The Council has invited the office to follow the procedure of Section 131 Paragraph 2 even if the result thereof is, unfortunately, uncertain when considering the position of the European Commission.