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NMa conditionally approves joint venture Municipality of Amsterdam and Reggefiber in optic-fiber company GNA

The Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) conditionally approves that Dutch optic-fiber company Reggefiber Group and the Amsterdam Development Corporation (OGA), a municipal organization, take joint control over optic-fiber company Glasvezelnet Amsterdam (GNA). GNA currently has a long-term contract with telecom company BBned. Ensuring that BBned would not be disadvantaged by the planned joint venture, the NMa laid down the condition that BBned would have the opportunity to switch to the regulated network of Reggefiber Group at any point in the future.

The NMa has no other antitrust objections against this joint venture, because Reggefiber Group is required to ensure that telecom companies have access to the Amsterdam optic-fiber network in a non-discriminatory way. OGA, Reggefiber Group and Dutch housing corporations Stadgenoot, Rochedale, Ymere and de Key all have a minority interest in GNA. The housing corporations and OGA will join forces in GNA.

This latest NMa decision is in line with earlier decisions that the NMa issued on December 19th, 2008 and on July 28th, 2009, in which specific conditions had been imposed on Reggefiber Group, a joint venture of Dutch telecom company KPN and Reggefiber. The conditions guarantee, among other things, that telecom companies have access to the joint venture's optic-fiber network in a non-discriminatory way and against a tariff that has been capped. Furthermore, these decisions also guarantee that all undertakings Reggefiber Group has control over must offer access (to their networks) under the same conditions.

Like Reggefiber Group, GNA installs and manages optic-fiber networks for consumers, also known as Fiber to the Home (FttH). GNA is active in the Amsterdam area, and Reggefiber Group is active in the entire Netherlands. With optic-fiber connections, download speeds can reach up to 1 gigabyte per second (Gbps), which is 10 to 200 times faster than DSL, SDSL, cable or wireless connections. Furthermore, optic fiber is virtually failure-proof. The yet-to-be-created joint venture will install an optic-fiber network for consumers in the city of Amsterdam in the next few years.