PRESS RELEASE: Draft market analysis proposing regulation of mobile market has been brought to 2nd phase of investigation by the European Commission
Prague, 21 December 2021 – The European Commission has sent to the Czech Telecommunication Office its decision to open the 2nd phase of investigation regarding the wholesale mobile market in the Czech Republic. It is in reaction to the notified draft market analysis of the wholesale mobile market where CTU concluded that this market is not effectively competitive and is thus susceptible for the so-called ex ante regulation. CTU has been striving to regulate the wholesale mobile market already for long time in order to safeguard effective competition on the mobile market which would in the end lead to accelerate the decrease in consumer prices for mobile services.
The dissatisfactory end-user prices for mobile services were recently confirmed also by the European Commission who assessed the prices for mobile services in the Czech Republic as one of the highest in the EU. CTU has been addressing the situation on the mobile market services for several months already. On 18 November 2021, CTU submitted a comprehensive draft analysis of the wholesale mobile market to the European Commission, where it concluded that this market is not effectively competitive and is susceptible for the so-called ex ante regulation. In the analysis, CTU ascertained the common significant market power of all three mobile network operators O2 Czech Republic a.s., T-Mobile Czech Republic a.s., and Vodafone Czech Republic a.s. This draft analysis is subject to an obligatory consultation with the European Commission.
The European Commission responded to the draft analysis on 20 December 2021 by sending a decision to open the 2nd phase of investigation regarding the wholesale mobile market in the Czech Republic. Although the Commission has confirmed that “there is a scope for improving the conditions of competition on the mobile market in the Czech Republic”, it raised comments on the draft analysis and concluded that it was appropriate to make the draft market analysis subject to further investigation before the European Commission would issue a definitive decision on this matter. Without prior consent of the European Commission CTU is not allowed to proceed with the market regulation. We are now at the beginning of a two-months period in which the draft market analysis will be discussed in detail with the European Commission as well as with BEREC. BEREC will issue its opinion and the European Commission will have to take the utmost account thereof.
CTU still considers that competition on the Czech mobile market is limited to such extent that it deserves regulation. This is also the opinion of more than 130 undertakings that supported CTU´s intention in the public consultation on the market analysis. CTU will advocate for the market regulation in the forthcoming meetings with BEREC and the European Commission.
Czech Telecommunication Office