EU Commission warns Dutch telecoms regulator to lower charges
BRUSSELS, June 13 |
BRUSSELS, June 13 (Reuters) - The European Commission has told the Dutch telecommunications regulator to reconsider plans to increase charges that could increase the cost of phone calls For consumers, in the first such action using new powers over national telecoms regulators.
Dutch proposals for an increase in "termination rates", the fees the telecoms network operators charge each other for handling connecting traffic, are much higher than they should be, Neelie Kroes, the EU Commissioner in charge of digital technology, said on Wednesday.
"The proposed Dutch termination rates would be twice as high as under the approach foreseen under EU law," said Kroes, who is herself from the Netherlands.
"So I am now requiring OPTA to withdraw the proposal, or amend it," she added, referring to the Dutch telecoms regulator.
Kroes's announcement followed a three-month investigation by the Commission and the EU telecoms regulators' group, BEREC.
National regulators have to inform the European Union's executive Commission of any new measures they want to introduce. The Commission then can ask for changes if it thinks the measures are harmful to the single market or consumers.
Shares in KPN, the Netherlands' biggest telecoms provider, were down 0.14 percent at 7.871 euros at 1258 GMT, in line with an overall slightly weaker Amsterdam share market.
KPN has been trying to reverse falling revenues, profits and market share in its domestic fixed-line and mobile businesses, and is now the target of Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim's telecoms group America Movil.
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