Market analysis

ARCEP launches a public consultation on its draft analysis of the market for wholesale inter-territorial trunk segments of leased lines, terminating in the overseas territorial collectivities of Saint Martin and Saint Barthélemy.

Paris, 3 March 2011

ARCEP is submitting its draft analysis of the market for wholesale inter-territorial trunk segments of leased lines terminating in the overseas territorial collectivities of Saint Martin and Saint Barthélemy, to public consultation for a period of four weeks - up to 31st March. This analysis comes to complete the analysis of the capacity services market that was published in April 2010.

  • Scope of analysis

ARCEP market analysis Decision No. 2010-0402 on capacity services, which was published in April 2010, concerns inter-territorial trunk segments in the French overseas regions and collectivities that fall under the Authority's purview. This decision does not define the wholesale inter-territorial trunk segment markets that are specific to the collectivities of Saint Martin and Saint Barthélemy. Up until 21 February 2007, the northern islands of Saint Martin and Saint Barthélemy constituted an arrondissement of the Guadeloupe department, but have since become two distinct overseas collectivities. In light of the market definitions contained in the ARCEP Decision No. 2010-0402, separate regulation needs to be established for these two collectivities - the result being that links terminating in Saint Martin and Saint Barthélemy are now considered an inter-territorial trunk segment of the capacity services market.

  • Main recommendations contained in the document submitted to public consultation

The main issues addressed in this draft analysis concern the state of competition in the wholesale undersea capacity services market in the two territories.

ARCEP considers that market competition in Saint Martin is such that it does not require ex ante regulation to be imposed on the inter-territorial trunk segment. Several infrastructures currently carry traffic between Saint Martin and mainland France on the one hand, and Guadeloupe and Martinique on the other - with third-party operators having access to competing offers marketed by different providers.

In Saint Barthélemy, however, ARCEP notes that there is only a single undersea infrastructure capable of routing traffic between Saint Barthélemy and mainland France, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Saint Martin, and of satisfying carriers' needs. This infrastructure is owned by a single entity, Global Caribbean Network, which means that a situation of monopoly exists in the wholesale inter-territorial trunk segment terminating in Saint Barthélemy.

As a result, ARCEP considers it necessary to introduce ex ante regulation of the segments terminating in Saint Barthélemy, and to impose the following obligations on Global Caribbean Network for these segments:
- the obligation to satisfy all reasonable requests for access, in a transparent and non-discriminatory fashion;
- the obligation to charge cost-oriented prices and to perform cost accounting;
- and the obligation to publish a reference offer.

  • Timetable

After having received and examined the responses to this first public consultation, ARCEP will submit a revised analysis to the French Competition Authority for its opinion, and will launch a second public consultation.

After having taken into consideration the remarks of the Competition Authority and the feedback from this second consultation, ARCEP will then submit a draft decision to the European Commission and to the national regulatory authorities in the other European Union Member States for comments. At the same time, this draft decision will be submitted to a third and final public consultation, during the month of June.

Once this last stage is complete, ARCEP will adopt its final decision.