From September 1, 2013, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has lowered the tariffs that telecom providers are allowed to charge one another for delivering calls (call termination). Providers will be allowed to charge 1.109 cents per minute for delivering a call to a mobile number, compared with 2.4 cents now. For calls to landlines, the tariff will be lowered from 0.37 cents to 0.108 cents per minute. The call termination tariff represents 5-10 percent of the costs of mobile phone calls. With regard to landlines, this share is lower. Each provider has a monopoly on this element of the total call tariff. That is why ACM caps these termination tariffs. Consumers eventually benefit from such caps.
The telecom provider of the individual that is called charges the provider of the customer that makes the call a fee for the use of its network. That fee is called the termination tariff. Callers cannot choose themselves which network handles their calls. In effect, every provider is a monopolist of their termination tariffs. Through regulation, these tariffs have been gradually lowered since 2003. Originally, the termination tariffs to mobile numbers were approximately 20 cents per minute, and to landlines more than 1 cent per minute.
European Commission clears new tariff caps
ACM sent its tariff proposal for lower termination tariffs to Dutch market participants first. It was subsequently sent to the European Commission. On July 31, the European Commission cleared ACM’s tariff proposal, after which it was able to finalize the tariff decision.
Ruling of Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal
On August 27, 2013, the Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal (CBb) issued a ruling (in Dutch) on this tariff proposal.