Communications Networks, Content and Technology

Market-based Regulation - Guidance

Market-based Regulation - Guidance

Regulatory Coordination & Markets (Unit B.3)

We promote and safeguard competition in the electronic communications markets in the EU, fostering investment in next generation access (NGA) networks and furthering the single market.


We ensure, with existing legal/policy instruments, such asĀ  Commission Recommendations and Decisions, that national regulatory authorities (NRAs) in the EU neither over- nor under-regulate electronic communications markets and apply efficient and forward-looking regulatory remedies where competition problems persist, fostering competition, investment and market integration.


We observe inconsistent economic (market-based) regulation across Member States, impeding the consolidation of the internal market for electronic communications as well as investment and growth. The Commission is obliged (see under Mandate) to remedy this situation by way of using the powers conferred to it under Articles 15 and 19 of Framework Directive (FWD).

Under Articles 15 and 19 of the FWD the Commission (i) shall regularly review the so-called Recommendation on relevant markets (Article 15), determining the scope of ex ante regulation in the EU telecommunications sector, and (ii) may issue Recommendations and Decisions (Article 19) where its scrutiny of draft regulatory measures of NRAs under Article 7 and 7a of FWD alone cannot achieve consistent regulation.


Full-Time Equivalent: 
6.00 full-time equivalent (FTE)
Collaboration with other DGs or agencies:
No budget envisaged.

Regulatory remedies-related Commission Decisions under Article 19 of FWD as become necessary

The review of existing Article 19 FWD Recommendations may lead to the adoption of Article 19 FWD Decisions, as appropriate, depending on the level of inconsistency in regulatory approaches of individual NRAs observed.



Timely availability of revised Decisions

Target By 2020

Regulatory remedies-related Commission Recommendations under Article 19 of FWD as become necessary

  1. Potential review of Article 19 FWD Commission Recommendations on (i) next generation access (NGA) and (ii) non-discrimination remedies and costing methodologies.
  2. Preparing new Commission Recommendations under Article 19 of FWD, for example regarding remedies in other recommended markets, as becomes appropriate.



Timely availability of revised Recommendations

Target By 2020

Review of Termination Rates Recommendation

We review the 2009 Commission Recommendation on the regulatory treatment of fixed and mobile termination rates, as obliged by the latter in point 13, not later than 4 years after its adoption. The review procedure will involve BEREC and COCOM. The likely outcome would be either a renewed or amended Recommendation or a Decision in order to safeguard or reinforce appropriate (pure BULRIC-based) and consistent regulation of termination rates across the EU.



Timely availability of revised Recommendation

Target Adoption in 2016
Baseline The Commission is under legal obligation to review the Recommendation.

Third edition of the Recommendation on relevant markets

We finalise the review of the 2007 Recommendation on relevant markets, in light of the market structural and technological developments across the EU in the electronic communication markets since 2008. The main focus of the initiative is to determine whether the current list of relevant markets needs to be altered due to the evolution of market developments over the past 7 years.



Timely availability of new list of markets which NRAs need to analyse for potential (ex ante) regulatory intervention

Target Adoption in Q3 2014
Baseline The Commission is under legal obligation to review the Recommendation.

Effectively competitive and integrating electronic communications markets

Ex ante regulatory intervention into electronic communications markets in the EU need to be limited to real bottlenecks, in order to provide the right "build or buy" signals to all operators, be it the providers of access to networks or access seekers. Only by way of such approach will we be able, at the same time, to safeguard competition, to incentivise investment in network infrastructure and innovation and to further the single market. We work towards a regulatory regime in all Member States that neither lead to over- nor under-regulation of electronic communications markets and that applies efficient and forward-looking regulatory remedies where competition problems persist, ultimately to bring about the Single Market for electronic communications.



The Degree of convergence of regulated (efficient cost-based) access prices across Member States (lead indicator)

Target For the 85% most converged Member States, drop below (i) 25 the difference between the lowest and the highest wholesale local access price observed in different Member States and (ii) 50% the difference between the lowest and highest termination rate. (By 2020)
Baseline For wholesale local access prices in 2013: 60%; for termination rates in 2009: 300% (MTRs) - 400% (FTRs). (2013/2009)
Current For wholesale loca access prices: 55%; for termination rates: 250% (representing a decrease of termination rate in absolute terls of more than 75%).

Digital Agenda Scoreboard and BEREC termination rates benchmark snapshots and integrated reports, which are adopted on an annual basis and published with immediate effect.

Chart URL See the chart

Link to DG CONNECT's Top Level Targets

Consolidating the internal market for electronic communications.

DAE broadband targets and roll-out.