EU executive targets Germany over phone fees

BRUSSELS, Dec 3 (Reuters) - The European Commission threatened Germany with legal action on Wednesday for failing to give details of wholesale fees domestic mobile phone operators charge each other.

The European Union’s executive is taking steps to cut mobile termination rates, the tariffs operators charge each other for routing calls when more than one network is used.

Lower termination rates lead to cheaper tariffs for consumers, the Commission argues.

EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding said Germany had failed twice -- in 2006 and this year -- to include termination rates in analyses of the telecoms market it must submit to Brussels for approval to ensure adequate competition.

“Germany cannot be granted an exemption from what is required under the EU telecoms rules and what is common practice in other member states,” Reding said in a statement.

Italy has taken steps to bring down mobile termination after the Commission expressed concern, she said.

The average mobile termination rate in Germany was 8 euro cents (10 U.S. cents) a minute in July according to Commission figures, below average for the 27-nation EU. (Reporting by Huw Jones, editing by Dale Hudson)