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VodafoneZiggo goes to European Commission over regulator’s wholesale demand

VodafoneZiggo.jpg

Netherlands operator VodafoneZiggo has said it is unhappy about being forced to offer wholesale services on its network, and it is taking the issue to the European Commission.

The country’s regulator, Autoriteit Consument & Markt (ACM, Authority for Consumers and Markets), decided that the merger of Vodafone Netherlands and cable operator last year meant it had sufficient market power to require it to open its network to wholesale services.

“The regulator is of the opinion that both KPN and VodafoneZiggo are dominant in the market,” said the unified cable and mobile operator.  

But the company signalled that it is unhappy with ACM’s position. “We believe that the market is very competitive. Attractive packages are offered at competitive prices and consumers get more speed, more content and more value for money,” said VodafoneZiggo.

“We therefore disagree with the analysis that also leads to more regulation. We also fear that the huge investments we make in our networks will be disrupted. These are necessary to remain the digital leader in Europe.”

The company protested: “The Netherlands is currently the European number one in terms of connectivity – in terms of speed, price and funding ratio. To maintain this top position and to meet the ever-increasing data needs of modern society, long-term investments in infrastructure are necessary, but also investment security.”

VodafoneZiggo has taken ACM’s decision that it should offer wholesale services to the European Commission. “We await the final decision after the response from the European Commission, which we expect later this year,” it said.

The company said that Ziggo’s cable services are available to 95% of Netherlands households, and “at all these addresses we can deliver a speed of 400Mbps”.