The FT is reporting that Competition Commissioner Neeli Kroes does not see eye to eye with key aspects of Fellow Commissioner Viviane Reding’s plans for a new electronic communications framework directives. In particular plans for ‘functional separation’ where a telecoms company with a dominant market position could be forced to separate – but not to sell – its networks and services divisions to guarantee that rivals could access its infrastructure (as happened with BT in the UK, with the creation of OpenReach) if other remedies failed to provide adequate competition.
According to the paper, an internal document written by Ms Kroes’ officials said the measure “is not only superfluous but also damaging. Functional separation does not prevent discrimination of alternative operators”.
The proposal for the creation of establishment of a European Electronic Communications Market Authority ( a sort of EU telecommunications regulator) also drew a scathing response from Ms Kroes’ officials. “In the electronic communications sector, granting powers to a community agency to perform competition assessments can only create confusion and impinge on the Commission’s (and Kroes’ office’s) competences.”