The European Commission has conditionally cleared the creation of a joint venture in the Netherlands between telecom provider Vodafone and cable company Ziggo. As a result of this collaboration between Vodafone and Ziggo, a second telecom provider will emerge next to rival KPN, which operates both a fixed network and a mobile network. The European Commission did identify some anticompetitive concerns. That is why Vodafone will let go of its fixed network, and, logically, of the consumers to the services over that network.
This decision paves the way for the creation of a new company, marking a big shift in the Dutch telecom market. Two major players will be active in the market. That is why ACM will assess whether the current rules need to be adjusted or tightened so that competitors will continue to have sufficient opportunities to access the networks. In that way, we make sure that consumers will continue to have sufficient options.
The European Commission’s decision has been taken on the condition that Vodafone sells its fixed network to another party, and transfers the subscribers to services over this network. The European Commission will have to approve the prospective buyer. ACM will continue to work together with the European Commission in the sale of Vodafone’s fixed network to a third party.
All-in-one plans are popular
Plans that include internet access, home phone and mobile services, and television services are becoming more and more popular. This trend favors companies that own both a fixed network and a mobile network. ACM expects that a combined Ziggo/Vodafone will result in more consumers taking out all-in-one plans.
Trends in the telecom market
The collaboration between Ziggo/Vodafone, as well as market trends such as the rise of all-in-one plans will change the competitive landscape in the telecom market. ACM is keeping a close watch on all developments. ACM is currently investigating this new competitive landscape and the trends in the telecom market. This investigation may result in a so-called market analysis. Such market analyses form the basis for rules under which competitors are allowed to use fixed networks for internet access, television and phone services. That is how competition is safeguarded, and how consumers will continue to have sufficient options.