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Home arrow newsitems arrow EU Commission vicePresident Kroes to EuroFora: Unify EU Telecom Markets to reap EU Digital Potential

EU Commission vicePresident Kroes to EuroFora: Unify EU Telecom Markets to reap EU Digital Potential

Written by ACM
Thursday, 20 December 2012

*Brussels/EU Council/Angelo Marcopolo/- Defragmentation of EU's 27 Telecom Markets by clearly establishing one Single Phone Market, would boost a Huge Growth and Jobs' Potential in the Digital Agenda, replied in substance the experienced EU Commission's vice-President Neelie Kroes to a relevant "EuroFora"s Question.

Thereby, she almost confirmed an earlier question/reply encounter between "EuroFora" and EU Commission's vice-President for Competition, Joachin Almunia, last week at EU Parliament in Strasbourg, on the similar issue of the possibility of Mergers between EU Telephone Companies for the creation of Strong New EU Players in the Global Competition, on which Almunia stressed, in reply to our question, the current "need to build a Single European Market for Telephone",



- Pointing at the "Huge Potential of the Digital Market", highlighted earlier by Kroes, "EuroFora" asked her if she agrees with what was recently said by her collegue, EU Commission's vice-President for Competition, Joaquin Almunia, in reply to one of our questions, previously at EU Parliament in Strasbourg, that the Fragmentation of Telecom Markets in the EU, which hinders also the dreams that some had some time ago to unite (merge) the big (EU) Telephone Companies, should be overcome soon,  in order to benefit frrom the full Potential of the Digital Market, that she had just highlighted, (on the occasion of a Ministerial meeting concluding Cyprus' rotating EU Chairmanchip), and also for the EU to become more competitive in the World market.



- "Fascinating Question ! Thank you for that !", started to positively reply to "EuroFora" the experienced EU Commission's vice-President, with a friendly smile.

- "We've never met before on that, so, I didn't do it, (i.e.)  this question wasn't asked from my side", she joked, obviously glad that a long-time EU Journalist, and simple EU Citizen from Strasbourg, after crossing by train Luxembourg, was brandishing his Mobile Phone in Brussels, and asked why he couldn't  simply use one and same supplier, with one price, while traveling accross these 3 interlinked Top EU Cities..

- "You touched upon the Issues where we (EU) should be much more aware of the fact that there is a Single Market, and the (EU) Commission and the Council are struggling hard to fill in the Digital Market, (because) we still have there some hurdles, so to say, in a diplomatic way",... Kroes denounced.


- "But, indeed, much more can be done, when you are looking at Spectrum, at TelePhone, Operational issues, (etc)., then, there shouldn't be hurdles, of ringfences around National Markets.

>>> - "And that's (i.e. EU's Telecom Markets united) one of the Ideals, one of the Dreams on which we (EU) still have to work on", she stressed.

 - "So, not everything can be done in one (EU Council's rotating) Presidency of Cyprus", she smiled, "but I can ensure you that we (EU) have to think to that", (i.e. to End the Fragmentation of EU TelePhone Markets in 27).


>>> - Also because "that could make a lot of Difference in terms of Economic Growth and Jobs", the experienced EU Commission's vice-President pointed out.

- Moreover, "this is the area where we (EU) could deliver, and (therefore) you can be certain that we are pushing", Kroes promissed in conclusion to her Reply to "EuroFora"s Question for the Future.


- Considering "the Worldwide Competition which exists today between various big Phone Companies, both in Equipments and/or on Networks, some time ago, there were projects to unite big EU Telecom Companies, and, if we could dream, as it has already happened in the USA, etc., f.ex. that Telefonica (Spanish), Orange (French), Deutsche Telecom (Germany), and/or others, might come together in the Future, then, what would be the situation, from your point of view, (i.e. that of Competition) ? Would it be feasible, would it face problems, or, on the contrary, be Facilitated ?", "EuroFora" had asked Almunia last week in Strasbourg's EU Parliament's plenary.


- "On the Mobile Telecommunications Market, we have in Europe big Operators, and the 4 Biggest have together a 80% of the total users/customers of Mobile Phones in Europe. So, the degree of Concentration, looking from this EU perspective, is not very differend from the one that we have in the US, where there are also 4 main Mobile Operators, From this point of view, the situation is not very different from what prevails in the USA, where there are 4 main Telecom operators, and the American Competition Authority has just given a Negative opinion on a proposed Merger between 2 of them", Almunia noted.


- "But, at any case, here we can't only look at the Number of Big Operators at the Size of EU Market, because, in fact, the Mobile Phone Markets remain National : So, we (EU) have 27 National Markets, so, we have to look Country by Country about whether a proposed Merger affects, or not, Competition conditions (f.ex. today in Austria, etc).

- If we (EU) want to take advantage of our possible Economies of scale, we (EU) need to build a Single European Market for Telephone Operators", the experienced EU Commission's vice-President Almunia had concluded in reply to "EuroFora"s Query.


+ By the way,  I'd just love to become able to travel from Strasbourg to Brussels, and vice-versa, without having to change 3 mobile Phone providers, with expensive "roaming" prices, and even some "Cuts" of telecommunications between them, during the trip, (at the Heart of Europe), he added smiling, ad absurdum...



(NDLR : "DraftNews", as already sent earlier to "EuroFora"s Subscribers/Donors. A more accurate, full Final Version may be published asap).



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