wik news July 2020

Future electronic communications product and service markets subject to ex-ante regulation

A study prepared for the European Commission DG Communications Networks, Content & Technology

The European Electronic Communications Code (EECC) requires the Commission to review the 2014 Recommendation on relevant markets by 21 December 2020. In this study for the European Commission, WIK analyses whether changes to the current market recommendation are necessary. Starting point of the study is an analysis of future technology and market developments as well as relevant case studies from the EU Member States.

Central issues in the discussion of the relevant markets are the definition of a separate market for access to physical infrastructure, the future definition of the wholesale broadband markets, the definition of the market for wholesale access to high quality local loops at fixed locations and the markets for fixed and mobile termination.

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European Commission/DG COMP publishes WIK study on purchasing behaviour in Europe

Evaluation support study of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation

The development of today’s multi-channel sales environment has resulted in consumers increasingly combining different sales channels when looking for information on prices, products, brands, etc.. Although this approach has many advantages for retailers, the multi-channel approach also raises some concerns about possible free-riding behaviour.

With the imminent expiration of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) on 31 May 2022, the European Commission is currently evaluating the existing Regulation. WIK-Consult's ‘Study on consumer purchasing behaviour in Europe’ is part of a large-scale qualitative and quantitative investigation conducted by a research consortium led by VVA to assist the Directorate General for Competition (DG COMP) in its evaluation of the VBER and the Guidelines on Vertical Restraints. By means of a comprehensive consumer survey, the study traced the recorded customer journeys of European consumers in order to investigate purchasing behaviour and switching between different channels throughout the purchasing process. It provides an empirical basis to inform DG COMP’s assessment of potential free-riding problems.

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Online Interpersonal Communications Services in the UK

Developments in the market, business models and regulation

Smartphones and affordable mobile data plans have enabled Online Communications Services (OCS) and Online Interpersonal Communications Services (OICS) to live side by side with traditional Electronic Communications Services (ECS). Today’s popular OICS such as WhatsApp and WeChat are commonly used as applications on smartphones. UK regulator Ofcom has recently published its report ‘Online Nation 2020‘. WIK-Consult had supported this Ofcom publication with extensive research on the OCS/OICS landscape in the UK and globally.

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Copper switch-off, fibre take-up and ULL tariffs in France

Study for Iliad published

National regulatory authorities (NRAs) can support the switch-off of copper access lines and migration to fibre by different means. The French NRA Arcep currently carries out consultations on the national market definition which include questions concerning the migration process. The study analyses the regulatory measures taken so far and discusses and proposes alternative regulatory means supporting a fast migration process. This includes pricing methodologies like "Wedge-Pricing" and organisational means defining a "fibre readiness" of areas and schedules for migrating from PSTN to VoIP and from copper to fibre.

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Moving to a fibre-enabled UK

The UK government set ambitious goals to move ahead to a fibre-enabled UK.

On behalf of BSG, WIK has analyzed experiences in France, Italy, Germany and Sweden and reflects the variable factors that drive take-up of gigabit services.

Learnings for UK industry, policy makers and regulators are set out in four recommendations. These include raising awareness of the benefits of gigabit connections and creating incentives to increase market penetration.

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