05 Okt ECTA: After European Parliament vote, challenges remain to make Code fully pro-competitive
Brussels, 3 October 2017. Last night, the Industry and Research and Energy Committee (ITRE) of the European Parliament voted on its long-debated report on the proposal for a European Electronic Communications Code.
ECTA commends the improvements that the Committee has brought to the Commission text in the access and co-investment part of the report and welcomes the overall pro-competitive compromise reached between the different political groups.
Nonetheless, ECTA notes that the future of competition remains a major concern in the ongoing reform. As Executive Director Luc Hindryckx stresses, ‘Only a fully pro-competitive framework will release the full innovation and investment potential of Europe and deliver benefits for end-users.’
Yet, as ECTA has remarked, the Estonian Presidency proposal of 22 September 2017 embodies significant risk for future competition by allowing the benefits of a fully-fledged toolbox to be wiped out and operators with significant market power (SMP) to be granted regulatory holidays under the cover of the co-investment banner.
Without decisive action in the course of interinstitutional negotiations, the Code risks sacrificing a functioning SMP regime – the core of sectoral regulation that has created benefits for end-users in the EU by promoting competition – for promises of co-investment. To make co-investment a competitively sustainable reality, ECTA considers that the upcoming negotiations urgently need to address the issue of co-ownership, while ensuring access to non-participating operators on terms that enable them to compete effectively.
ECTA remains fully engaged in the negotiations on the Code and is committed to continuing its dialogue with Mrs Pilar del Castillo, the Shadow Rapporteurs, Council representatives and the European Commission.
ECTA members are united in their belief that competition is the best driver of efficient investments and the greatest enabler of innovation, choice and benefits for citizens and businesses, as well as for the European economy overall. This is the key message that ECTA and its members promote in the discussions about a European Electronic Communications Code.