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Competition policy and regulation in converging telecoms and media markets: how can they work together?

On Wednesday 8 July European Commission policymakers, national telecoms regulators, lawyers and senior representatives from telecoms and media companies in Europe joined Oxera to consider how the recent wave of consolidation and convergence in the communications and media markets has given rise to an increase in oligopolistic market structures.
The lively and engaging discussion explored how this trend can pose problems for regulators attempting to impose remedies on the basis of joint dominance/tacit collusion findings. In particular, the group debated a recent proposal from the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) to develop a clear threshold for regulatory action in cases of ‘tight’ (non-colluding) oligopolies, and considered parallels with recent mobile mergers that were cleared by the Commission subject to innovative MVNO access remedies without the need to show a risk of tacit collusion.
The discussion went on to consider how vertical integration between network operators and content alongside the growth of triple- and quad-play bundles are creating new challenges for regulators and antitrust enforcers—particularly where these bundles include premium TV content (such as sports rights) that is not traditionally subject to regulation.
A post-event digest, summarising the discussion and conclusions that were drawn, will be available in the coming weeks.
For more information about the event and the issues it covered, please contact Oxera Partner, Felipe Flórez Duncan

Download the briefing note for this event