Merge et impera

Blog article
Giovanni GANGEMI

The tug-of-war between Commissioner Neelie Kroes and telephone operators over the measures to be taken in the present to ensure a better future for European telecommunications could soon come to a solution, although perhaps not definitive. The debate over the culling of roaming, which infrastructure operators see as a possible coup de grace to their staggering economies – an ETNO study estimates losses of EUR 7 billion by 2020 – has been the main focus of the debate, which the Commission sees as a key tool to enable competition at European level within the coveted single market. The EU plan calls for operators to offer unique tariffs for 85% of the population by 2014.

The TLC sector was probably the one in which the market worked "better", in terms of widening supply, improving the quality of service and, above all, lowering tariffs. It also worked "too" well, according to some, which indicate precisely in the prices too low one of the causes of the economy of the sector, looking at the US model (where prices as a virtuous example to follow, if you want to maintain a sustainability of the sector).

One can probably think about the level of tariffs in the new context, always taking into account the interests of users, even with the prospect of a unification of the market. There is no doubt, however, that the consolidation of operators at European level is an unavoidable and indispensable step if we want to have as a horizon that of a digital European market, in which players who can benefit from economies of scale at continental rather than national level, capable of competing internationally, combating the challenges of globality and supporting the increasingly burdensome investments needed in new technologies. The Verizon/Vodafone transaction clearly points the way in this regard.


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