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NMa conditionally approves joint venture of KPN and Reggefiber

The Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) conditionally gives the green light to the joint venture that Dutch telecom company KPN and optical-fiber company Reggefiber plan to create. The joint venture will install fiber networks in the next few years for the Dutch consumer market, also known as Fiber to the Home (FttH). These fiber networks will make it possible to offer the kind of broadband services, such as high definition television, that cannot be offered using existing copper networks. KPN and Reggefiber state that this joint venture will make it possible to roll out a fiber network in the Netherlands. At the same time, other telecom companies are guaranteed to gain access to the fiber network against reasonable tariffs and in a non-discriminatory way.

Having consulted with market parties, the NMa has agreed with KPN-Reggefiber's proposal, which will prevent competition from being impeded by the joint venture. The NMa had earlier raised objections against the original plans, because it feared that the joint venture would be insufficiently stimulated to grant other telecom companies access to the yet-to-be-constructed fiber networks.

KPN and Reggefiber have taken away that fear by guaranteeing that other telecom companies will indeed have access to the network of the joint venture in a non-discriminatory way. In addition, maximum monthly rental tariffs for access to the fiber networks will range between €14.50 and €17.50 per connection, depending on geographical area, and annually corrected for inflation. Furthermore, an enforcement procedure has been set up. If the joint venture does not comply with the set conditions, then customers who want to gain access to the fiber network can file a complaint with the NMa through the aforementioned procedure.

The NMa has closely worked together with the Dutch Independent Regulator of Post and Electronic Communications in the Netherlands (OPTA) in the assessment of this case. As industry-specific regulator, OPTA has provided the NMa with advice. Additionally, OPTA has drawn up draft policy rules for tariff regulation of unbundled fiber access in consultation with the NMa. The NMa has used these draft policy rules as input in its assessment of the joint venture.