ACM has turned down the request of enforcement filed by Bits of Freedom. Bits of Freedom had asked ACM to take action against T-Mobile’s ‘Data-free music’ service. ACM has assessed that the service does not violate European rules on net neutrality: the service is available to all music-streaming providers, and the service does not reduce end-users’ choice (according to the European net neutrality regulation: the service guarantees a non-discriminatory offer and does not infringe on the rights of end users).
Goal of net neutrality
The regulation on net neutrality ensures that there are common rules in place about the non-discriminatory treatment of internet traffic in Europe. The principle of net neutrality is that all internet traffic should be treated equally. An exemption to this principle can be made, for example with zero-rating. With zero-rating, the data for certain applications does not count against a customer’s data plan.
In this decision, ACM has assessed that T-Mobile’s zero-rating service is allowed because it meets two conditions:
The service does not make a distinction between different music-streaming services (it is non-discriminatory: every music-streaming service is able to join the service)
The service does not infringe on the rights of end users: their choice is not reduced.