PRESS RELEASE: European Commission has rejected the proposed regulation. CTU considers further steps.
Prague, 21 February 2022 – European Commission has rejected the proposed ex ante regulation of wholesale mobile market in the Czech Republic. According to the European Commission, the Czech Telecommunication Office did not prove by its analysis that the mobile network operators would act in mutual alignment and that the competition would therefore be distorted. Czech Telecommunication Office does not agree with such conclusion and considers further steps.
The decision is not surprising for the Czech Telecommunication Office. Already at a pre-notification meeting, i.e. before the market analysis was notified to the European Commission, the EC informally, nevertheless quite clearly, expressed their scepticism towards the planned measures of the Czech Telecommunication Office.
The European Commission alone steadily assesses the prices for telecommunications services in the Czech Republic as being one of the highest in Europe. Please see e.g. in Mobile and Fixed Broadband Prices in Europe 2020.
The Body of European regulators BEREC has in its opinion agreed with some of the reservations expressed by the EC but did not concur with others. BEREC e.g. acknowledges a significant market failure at the retail level where the prices are well above the EU average. Virtual operators, according to BEREC, are not able to offer competitive prices to the subscribers due to unfavourable conditions at the wholesale level. BEREC further states that the Czech mobile market is characterized by high prices in comparison with the level of prices throughout the EU and by insufficient competition. Finally, BEREC invites the Commission and CTU to further continue to engage with the aim of clearing the persisting doubts. No further negotiation was enabled by the Commission.
The Czech Telecommunication Office does not agree with the conclusions of the European Commission and considers further steps which would help to ensure lower prices for the consumers.
Czech Telecommunication Office