Extracts from the press briefing by Martin Selmayr, Spokesperson of Viviane Reding, on the EC demand to the Belgian telecoms regulator to impose more effective regulation on fixed telephone calls

Type: Summary of press conference   Reference: I-059273   Duration: 10:24:14  Lieu:
End production: 23/10/2008   First transmission: 23/10/2008
Martin Selmayr, Spokesperson of Viviane Reding, Member of the EC in charge of Information Society and Media, explained the action of the European Commission regarding Belgium excessive prices for fixed phones. The European Commission sent a letter asking Belgian authorities to bring down fixed-line prices charged by the country's dominant operator, Belgacom, and giving them one year to compile an analysis of the sector.

Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
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TIME DESCRIPTION DURATION
10:20:57 Title 00:00:04
10:21:02 General view 00:00:05
10:21:07 Martin Selmayr, Spokesperson of Viviane Reding, Member of the EC in charge of Information Society and Media, saying (in ENGLISH) that recent findings show that Belgium consumers pay the highest prices in the EU for several telecommunication services; for example, for 3 minutes local telephone call, you pay in Belgium 21.2 euro cents; on average in the EU, you pay substantially below ten cents so Belgium is more than the double than most EU countries; a Belgian consumer pays 6.40 euro, more than his fellow citizen in the other EU countries, per month for telephone calls; this is why the EC has sent a letter to the Belgium telecom regulator allowing him to continue to regulate the Belgian telecom, and asking him to be even more efficient in the future. 00:00:47
10:21:54 Cutaway 00:00:06
10:22:00 Martin Selmayr saying (in ENGLISH) that they had regulation in place by the Belgian regulator since 2000, but it did not seem to be very effective; the EC called on the Belgian regulator to do a better job in favor of Belgian consumers, to be more effective in the implementation of the regulation, and they also asked the Belgian regulator to come back to the EC within a year's time to show us how they have improved the regulation situation on the Belgian market. 00:00:28
10:22:28 Cutaway 00:00:06
10:22:34 Martin Selmayr saying (in ENGLISH) that the EC gave the green light to the Belgian telecoms regulator to continue to regulate the domain and player on the Belgian market; the situation for the consumers should improve as soon as possible; they gave the Belgian regulator recommendations how to improve the regulatory situation; they asked them to come back to them in a year's time to show what measures they have taken in a year's time to show what measures they have taken in addition to what they have proposed to them in this speech to improve the situation on the Belgian market. 00:00:27
10:23:01 Cutaway 00:00:07
10:23:08 Martin Selmayr saying (in ENGLISH) that the EC is neutral whether a country owns shares in the former telecom State monopoly or not. this is not an argument on how to effectively regulate it. We have in the EU telecom's rules since a decade. It is a very important principle, even if you keep shares in your company, in a former State monopoly, it should be subject to an effective competition. 00:00:23
10:23:31 Cutaway 00:00:06
10:23:37 Martin Selmayr saying (in FRENCH) that the current regulation system is decentralised; each national regulator decides on its market, sends its decision to the EC, and the EC gives it its green light or correct it, or sends comments. 00:00:14
10:23:51 Cutaway 00:00:08
10:23:59 Martin Selmayr saying (in ENGLISH) that he mentioned one example where the Belgian regulator could go further not only prohibit excessive and predatory pricing but use the full instruments available under EU law, namely to introduce retail price caps on a market where there is a dominant player. 00:00:15
10:24:14 Cutaway 00:00:06
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