Discussion Papers

Karl-Heinz Neumann

Resale im deutschen Festnetzmarkt
Nr. 235 / Mai 2002

Summary

Within the market realities of the German telecommunications market service competition as compared to infrastructure – based competition only shows a negligible market relevance. This observation holds for the fixed net market. Market development in the context of market liberalisation therefore differs totally between the fixed and the mobile market. Service providers in the mobile market played a significant role in the development of competition within the first years of market liberalisation. At the peak of market development service providers had a market share of more than 60% compared to the direct sales of the network operators.

In comparison to the mobile market the role of service competition and service providers in the fixed service market currently still is very limited. We can observe service competition only in long distance and international traffic. The market share of resellers in this segment amounts to 3%, which is 1.2% of the whole fixed net market. In local services where we can find only very limited infrastructure competition, there is nearly no service competition. The market position of resellers in the long distance market can be interpreted as a market result because we cannot identify relevant distortions in the wholesale market for reseller services. Given the current regulatory conditions, the business model of a network operator is more attractive for new entrants than the business model of a service provider.

The competitive and regulatory framework is totally different in the field of access services and local connections. DTAG is the only economically relevant provider of local wholesale services. As a first step DTAG refused to provide local wholesale services at all. In march 2001 the regulator requested to offer local wholesale services. Despite this decision, as of today there is no local wholesale service for reselling purposes available in the market.

The regulatory and court proceedings in the various resale cases are regarded as a case study for the efficiency of the current regulatory regime for wholesale service regulation. Due to the stepwise regulatory decisions on resale and the various court proceedings regulatory decisions take a long time before they develop market relevance. This should be a matter for legislative reform. [full version only available in German]

Diskussion Paper is available for download.

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