Liberty Global CEO critical of EU push for new regulatory framework

Wednesday 27 September 2017 | 10:54 CET | News
Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries is concerned about the European Commission’s plans for new regulations, especially regarding proposals made by the Electronic Communications Code to “pre-emptively” prevent duopolies or oligopolies through joint dominance rules.

The current Market Power (AMM) regulation model has brought much to the sector over the past twenty years, Liberty Global said. Change should be minimized in order to prevent uncertainty. "Otherwise, we will invest in Latin America," Fries noted during the Tech Summit of Liberty Global on 20 September in Amsterdam."We have been fighting the past ten years against incumbents like Deutsche Telekom and KPN," said Fries.

"We have pushed the incumbents and now we are suddenly too successful? We did not agree to that."

So far, only KPN's copper network is regulated on the Dutch operator market. Cable has so far been spared. Liberty Global unit Ziggo, after its merger with Vodafone Netherlands (becoming VodafoneZiggo), has become a fixed-mobile operator on the same scale as KPN, in a market where two players have nationwide coverage for both fixed and mobile. In the Netherlands, regulator ACM now wants more power to regulate possible duopolies such as KPN and VodafoneZiggo. 

Also during the Tech Summit, Liberty Global presented a study, conducted with Arthur D Little, which showed how its GigaWorld initiative could unlock a wave of innovation by 2025 worth EUR 250-660 million in Europe, and of EUR 1.3-3.5 trillion worldwide.

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