UK and French 4-network-operator competitive mobile markets versus the consolidated German protected oligopoly – 2Q 2015
Triggered by the planned mergers in the UK, Commissioner Vestager’s assertion that “In fact, infrastructure investment can be stimulated by competition” and by the court challenge filed by Airdata AG against the Commission’s unlawful approval of Telefonica E-Plus German merger we take a closer look at effective competition and in particular 4G LTE mobile internet access (smartphone plan) prices and hotspot/tethering restrictions
in the consolidated German protected oligopoly, UK and France.
- 4G LTE smartphone plan prices are up to 7 times cheaper in the UK and France than in the German protected oligopoly
- The European Commission’s ineffective MVNO remedy has not removed the anticompetitive effects caused by the German merger: effective competition in the German mobile market has been impeded and the risk for market coordination has increased substantially
- If the BT-EE and in particular the Hutchison Three – Telefonica o2 merger is approved by the European Commission with Germany-like ineffective MVNO access remedies, effective competition in the UK will cease, prices will rise and consumers & smaller competitors will be harmed
- Margrethe Vestager, Commissioner for Competition, stated yesterday that “In fact, infrastructure investment can be stimulated by competition” citing Free Mobile’s 2009 entry in the French mobile market
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