LONDON Jan 9 Europe's top telecommunication
companies are discussing the creation of a pan-European
infrastructure network to unite the region's disjointed national
markets, the Financial Times newspaper reported on Wednesday.
The idea of sharing telecoms infrastructure was discussed at
a private meeting between Joaquin Almunia, the European Union's
competition chief, and bosses of Europe biggest groups,
including Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom,
Telecom Italia and Telefonica, the newspaper
The FT cited several people familiar with the talks as
saying the industry attendees left the meeting intent on
exploring the idea due to frustrations over their inability to
compete in Europe's fragmented market.
"The operators expressed a deep sense of frustration and
agreed to bring constructive ideas of how a European market
could work," the FT quoted one person familiar with the meeting
"Objections won't come from Europe, they will be from the
[EU's 27 national] regulators."
Europe's telecoms companies, which dominate the continent's
market through their various national subsidiaries, have been
caught out by the region's financial difficulties and face
rising competition from global technology groups.
Representatives of the European Commission, Deutsche
Telekom, France Telecom, Telecom Italia and Telefonica were not
immediately available to comment.
(Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Dan Grebler)