ART initiates a series of inquiries on competition in telecommunications markets

Paris, 7 November 2001

ART is to launch a series of inquiries to examine competition in selected segments of the telecoms market.

The aim is to assess the degree of openness to competition in these segments and to examine how competitive forces operate. The studies will focus on the number and type of operator, market shares, barriers to entry, the extent to which consumers can choose between competitors' offers, and so on.

 

The analyses will be based on criteria that emerged from the decisions of the competition authorities, both French and European.

  • At this stage, three markets have been selected
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  • Internet wholesale call origination
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This is a fast-growing market in which several major players are active. Over the past two years, the interconnection mechanisms defined by ART have led to the development of multiple offers. Further developments can be expected, particularly in relation to the marketing of flat-rate interconnection and collection offers.

 

  • Infrastructures utilising high-speed optical fibres
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This is an important market particularly because of the role it plays in the development of local infrastructure.

 

  • Interconnection
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Some operators have positioned themselves as resellers of interconnection services, in competition with France Télécom, and have thus contributed to the formation of this market segment.

  • ART could ultimately apply this approach to other markets
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These studies will be conducted over a three month period, at the end of which a report on each of the markets will be prepared. ART will also prepare an overview in full confidentiality and will make it public during first-quarter 2002.

 

At that time, ART will examine both the relevance of extending this approach to other markets and the ways – notably in terms of methods – of doing so. The opinion of the competition authority will be sought whenever necessary.

 

Based on the conclusions of these studies, specific regulatory measures may be implemented, or ART may draw up recommendations, after consulting with industry participants.

This initiative continues ART's established practice, which takes close account of the state of competition in its analyses and decisions. It should also be seen in the context of the future European legal framework, which will systematise this kind of approach.

 

ART wants to immediately implement this approach, which will not only provide an accurate picture of the various market segments but will also provide a method for analysing the state of competition.


Linked documents

 Decision no. 01-898 (pdf - 38 Ko)  of 5 October 2001