Digital Agenda: Commission consults on telecoms markets Recommendation

Brussels, 19-10-2012 — / — The European Commission has launched a public consultation with a view to updating the current list of relevant wholesale and retail telecoms markets subject to the Commission’s “Article 7” procedure under EU telecoms rules (see MEMO/10/226). These markets include retail access to the public telephone network and wholesale broadband access. Having a list of relevant markets helps National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) regulate their markets in a coordinated manner. The review will take into account major market and technological developments, such as internet-based applications and services, the convergence between different types of networks and services and the development of very fast internet networks and services. Based on its results, the Commission will then revise the current Recommendation on Relevant Markets which was last updated in 2007. The Commission invites interested parties to respond to the consultation by 8th January 2013.

Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice President for the Digital Agenda said: “We need to be up-to-date with technological developments in the sector so that regulation only focusses on persistent structural competition problems and facilitating investment.”

The purpose of the questionnaire is to identify major relevant trends and to consult stakeholders on the revision of the current list of relevant markets and their scope, as well as on markets to be possibly added to the list, including markets regulated at national level and trans-national markets.

The consultation is the first step in a review process. Based on its results and after consultation with the Body of the European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) and the Communications Committee (an advisory committee composed of Member State representatives), the Commission will adopt a revised Recommendation.


Under EU telecoms rules, the Commission adopts and regularly reviews the Recommendation on relevant product and services markets within the regulated electronic communications sector (see IP/07/1678). The Recommendation identifies the markets which are in principle susceptible to ex ante regulation. National Regulatory Authorities have to regularly review national markets and notify them to the Commission under the so-called “Article 7 procedure”. This is a consultation and notification mechanism that requires national telecoms regulators to inform the Commission and telecoms regulators in other EU countries in advance about measures they plan to introduce to solve market problems. Since 2003, the Commission has reviewed more than 1300 such notifications.

This is the second review of the Commission’s Recommendation on relevant markets. The Commission’s first Recommendation dates from 2003 and was revised in 2007 to include one retail and six wholesale markets: access to the fixed telephone network, call origination on fixed telephone networks, call termination on individual fixed telephone networks, wholesale access to the local loop, wholesale broadband access, wholesale terminating segments of leased lines and voice call termination on individual mobile networks.

Useful Links

The public consultation:

Digital Agenda website

Neelie Kroes’ website

Follow Neelie Kroes on Twitter

Contacts :

Ryan Heath (+32 2 296 17 16), Twitter: @RyanHeathEU

Linda Cain (+32 2 299 90 19)


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