Brussels eyes telecoms reform


The EU will set out reforms for a pan-European telecommunications market this year to support competition and investment in the sector, the bloc's telecoms chief, Neelie Kroes, said in a newspaper interview today (14 January).

"We're working on a range of measures to create common and stable conditions across the EU for telecoms competition, investment and growth, which should also make cross-border consolidation more attractive," the European commissioner for digital agenda said in comments published by the Financial Times.

Kroes said she was not seeking a single regulator, but greater cooperation between the European Commission and national regulators, as well as asset-sharing between companies to promote investment.

The comments followed a report in the business newspaper on Wednesday that EU competition chief Joaquín Almunia had met with the heads of Europe's big telecoms groups to discuss a pan-European infrastructure network.

Those talks, attended by executives from Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, KPN and Belgacom, ended with a promise to look into ways that a single European telecoms market could work, writes the FT.

According to the British paper, ETNO, the telecoms industry lobby group, said the companies would now present their findings about the possible creation of a single European market to Kroes.

However, industry sources later played down the idea of a single network, saying the November meeting had focused on whether the large number of operators could be consolidated through takeovers.

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