New EC Recommendation on relevant markets

The Official Journal of The European Union (OJEU) has seen the publication of Recommendation 2007/879/EC of 17 December of the European Commission (EC) on relevant product and service markets within the electronic communications sector susceptible to ex ante regulation in accordance with Directive 2002/21/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on a common regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services.

This Recommendation substitutes Commission Recommendation 2003/311/EC of 11 February, the content of which was revised following the evolution seen in the markets over recent years. Seven markets are now identified: one at a retail level (access to the public telephone network at a fixed location for residential and non-residential customers) and the other six at a wholesale level (Call origination on the public telephone network provided at a fixed location, call termination on individual public telephone networks provided at a fixed location, wholesale network infrastructure access at a fixed location, wholesale broadband access, wholesale terminating segments of leased lines and voice call termination on individual mobile networks).

The EC recommends that the national regulatory authorities (NRA), in defining relevant markets appropriate to national circumstances, should analyse the product and service markets identified in the Annex to the Recommendation. The EC also recommends that, when identifying markets other than those set out in the Annex, the NRAs should ensure that the following three criteria are cumulatively met: the presence of high and non-transitory barriers to entry; a market structure which does not tend towards effective competition within the relevant time horizon; and the insufficiency of competition law alone to adequately address the market failure(s) concerned.

The Recommendation is without prejudice to market definitions, results of market analyses and regulatory obligations adopted by NRAs prior to the date of the Recommendation's adoption.


Related information on ANACOM's website:

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