EU: Telecoms chiefs back overhaul of competition law

The telecoms sector has thrown its weight behind the new European Commission’s plan to create industrial champions and overhaul its approach to competition policy,reported The Financial Times. 

A letter signed by the chief executives of some of Europe’s largest telecoms companies states that they would support the move to provide Europe with an “industrial policy for digital leadership” which could provide a boost for the struggling sector in its battle with giant US technology companies. 

According to the FT, the move is a signal of support for the political priorities set out by Ursula von der Leyen, the new president of the European Commission, and Thierry Breton, the former France Télécom chief executive who has been appointed as commissioner for the internal market.

The letter will be published ahead of a meeting in Brussels on Monday between Vestager, the EU’s antitrust chief who now oversees EU digital policy in addition to her competition responsibilities, and powerful telecoms figures including Tim Höttges, chief executive of Deutsche Telekom, and Stéphane Richard, head of Orange.

The heads of the telecoms companies said they wanted to work with the commission to “turn ambition into reality”. “This requires a stable and sustainable regulatory environment at home, but also fair and balanced rules for competing with global players,” the letter said. It also called for the commission to “actively address the fragmented European telecom market” by encouraging companies to build more national and cross-border scale in telecom infrastructure.

Full Content: Financial Times

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