EU questions Italy telecom watchdog's broadband price setting

MILAN Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:46am EDT

MILAN Aug 12 (Reuters) - The European Commission said on Monday it had questioned the Italian telecommunications watchdog AGCOM on the way it regulated prices for broadband services.

In a note the Commission said it had invoked the EU review mechanism over plans by AGCOM to change current wholesale broadband prices saying that such a move would negatively impact operators' ability to plan their prices in Italy.

The EU Commission's telecoms chief, Neelie Kroes, said: "In departing from the approach announced last year for setting access prices in the Italian broadband markets, AGCOM undermines the required regulatory certainty for all market players."

In July AGCOM tentatively approved lower fees for rivals who rent space on the fixed-line copper network of Telecom Italia - a move that Telecom Italia said would reduce its annual income by 110 million euros.

After that decision Telecom Italia said it wanted to secure favourable regulatory conditions before taking any steps forward in its plan to spin off its fixed-line network. (Reporting by Stephen Jewkes, editing by Silvia Aloisi)

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