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ACM identifies opportunities and risks of bundling in the telecom market

Consumers are able to save money by taking out multiple telecom products in a single package. But bundling fixed and mobile telecom services into a single package can also make it harder to switch providers. And the rise of such packages can weaken the position of smaller providers. Furthermore, the addition of free movies and series or sports channels can be attractive to consumers, but it does carry anticompetitive risks. In fact, it could, in the long run, lead to less choice and fewer benefits. This has been revealed by a preliminary analysis carried out by the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM). ACM now wishes to hear from market participants in the telecom sector their views on the abovementioned opportunities and risks. Interested parties have the opportunity to submit their opinions on the analysis until Tuesday, April 11, 2017.

About all-in-one packages

ACM has seen that consumers increasingly opt for multiple telecom products in a single package. Such packages combine television services, broadband access, fixed telephony, and mobile telephony, or combinations thereof. By offering competitive deals, telecom providers are able to satisfy the need among consumers for savings, simplicity, and convenience. Initially, television services, broadband access and fixed telephony were bundled into packages. In recent years, mobile services have also been added. This has led to the rise of four-in-one packages. In addition, providers increasingly add free movies and series or sports broadcasts to these packages in the form of exclusive channels.

About the consultation

ACM has analyzed the possible effects on competition of bundling telecom services and video content into packages. ACM wishes to hear from market participants what they see as opportunities and risks of this trend. What scenario (with all its benefits and drawbacks) is the most likely to unfold? ACM invites interested parties to submit their opinions on the analysis, as well as their answers to the consultation questions.

Reactions can be sent to until Tuesday, April 11.

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