ETNO urges EU to accelerate single market plans

25 April 2013 | Mitch Sayers


European Telecommunications Network Operators (ETNO) has urged the European Union to speed up plans to alter regulation in the European telecoms market.

European telecoms industry group, ETNO, wants acquisitions to come under less scrutiny from domestic regulators - who favour cross-border acquisitions - in an effort to compete with continental competitors.

ETNO’s chairman of the board, Luigi Gambardella, urged the EU at a conference to accelerate its plans to consolidate Europe into a single market.

“We believe that this work should be done as early as possible, possibly well before next October,” said Gambardella.

“The situation demands that we act fast.”

Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), who are heading up the plans, will publish a proposal for a European telecoms industry four months earlier than first thought, in June rather than October this year.

According to Gambardella, North America and East Asia can achieve greater scale through consolidation.

“Over the past years, we have been confronted with an extremely difficult market situation and over-intrusive regulatory conditions,” added the ETNO chairman.

The EU, according to Gambardella, has more than 1,200 fixed telecom operators and over 100 mobile players.

Neelie Kroes, digital agenda commissioner of CEF is keen to have plans approved ahead of European Parliament elections in 2014.