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ACM sees points for attention in the business text messaging market

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) has carried out an exploratory study into possible risks to competition in the business market for text messaging services. Given the conclusions of the study, ACM currently sees no reason to intervene in this market. However, ACM does see several points for attention with mobile operators who have a network of their own. ACM does not rule out that a more detailed study will be conducted in the future, if circumstances so require.

ACM has found that, in the business text messaging market, mobile providers that have a network of their own have a competitive advantage over players without a network of their own. As a result, anticompetitive risks may thus occur in this market. ACM sees several points for attention when market participants negotiate with each other: possible price increases and unfavorable contract terms, requests for competition-sensitive information, and the exclusion of foreign routes for delivering text messages.

Approximately 10 percent of the total market for text messages are business text messages. This segment concerns large-volume applications of text messages such as security codes for internet banking, passwords for the Dutch national identification system DigiD, and public warning messages by the police. It also concerns the so-called special rate services such as messages to vote for one’s favorite candidate in a TV show, reminders for dentist appointments or payment of parking fees.