On September 27, 2018, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) finalized its market analysis decision on Wholesale Fixed Access (WFA).
What is governed by this decision?
With this decision, ACM ensures that providers without networks of their own gain access to the connection networks of KPN and VodafoneZiggo. The latter is a major change to the existing access regulatory regime, which only applies to KPN. This change offers alternative providers opportunities to start offering services over VodafoneZiggo’s cable network. This increases consumer choice, and the increase in competition will lead to lower prices, more innovation, and better service.
Why are KPN and VodafoneZiggo required to offer access?
In its market analysis, ACM established that, on the market for fixed networks, KPN and VodafoneZiggo together have significant market power in an unregulated market. Their market power enables them to exclude alternative providers from the market, and then charge too high retail prices for end-users. ACM has decided to regulate the market in order to make sure there is sufficient competition.
What is the background of this decision?
The market analysis decision has been drawn up in accordance with a strict procedure. Interested parties had the opportunity to submit their opinions regarding the market analysis. ACM subsequently incorporated the opinions of market participants as well as its responses to them in the decision. ACM then submitted the market analysis decision to the European Commission. In late-August, apart from several comments, the Commission fully approved the decision.
What are the next steps of KPN and VodafoneZiggo?
Following this decision, KPN must continue offering access like before. VodafoneZiggo must draw up a reference offer first. Next, the other providers will have the opportunity to negotiate. If they have any concrete plans for offering services over VodafoneZiggo’s network, VodafoneZiggo must ensure that its network is capable of offering those services. VodafoneZiggo’s network is expected to be ready in the course of next year.