Europe acts to nip cable 'abuses'
Monday 09 October 1995
The European Commission has launched an investigation into plans by three telecoms operators, including Ireland's Telecom Eireann (TE), to expand into cable television.
The competition directorate in Brussels has sent "requests for information" to TE, Telefonica and Telecom Italia, to determine whether their plans constitute an "abuse of a dominant position". Last week, it announced a review of Telecom Italia's privileged position in the mobile phone market.
The EC is intent on preventing monopoly telecom operators from dominating the emerging markets for multimedia, fearing that the lack of competition will reduce consumer choice and lead to higher prices for services.
The drive to protect new entrants to the market comes as existing players seek to retain their dominance. BT last week reached a deal with the Labour Party to allow it access to the broadcasting market, in return for supplying fibre-optic connections for public institutions at no cost. It is also rumoured to be in talks with Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation about a joint venture to broadcast multimedia services on BT's domestic network.
The Commission's concern about TE's cable aspirations follows the announcement that the Irish operator was raising its stake in Cablelink, the leading cable company, from 60 per cent to 75 per cent. Cablelink is considering using TE's phone network to expand broadcast capacity. The Commission fears the plan would limit competition in the Irish cable market.
The EC recently adopted a directive aimed at liberalising the market in 1996 for certain "non-reserved" telecoms services, including data transmission and video-on-demand. Full liberalisation of the telecom market is scheduled for 1998.
The EC is also concerned about Telefonica's plans in Spain to upgrade its network to allow delivery of multimedia services. Telefonica has a joint venture with Prisa, the country's largest publishing and pay-TV company, to develop new direct-to-home services.
Telecom Italia is also developing a fibre-optic network capable of carrying telecom and broadcasting services, spending $7.8bn to connect 50 per cent of Italian homes by 1998.
The singer Susan Boyle has revealed for the first time that she has been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, a form of autism.
food + drinkMichelin-starred Tom Sellers on being this year's hottest property
tvParents (and kids) rejoice! A new wave of fantastic family entertainment is here
booksGeese, gorillas, grandads... and growing up
food + drinkHow one grocery e-tailer is gearing up for the Yuletide rush
food + drink
travelFor broadcaster Mishal Husain, a long-haul Club Med holiday was a chance for her family to explore its sense of 'zen' and 'animation'
Hundreds arrested as Canadian police smash worldwide paedophile ring
Nelson Mandela: 11 inspirational quotes to live your life by
Ja Rule forced to deny leaving wife for prison cell mate
Crash pilot who threatened Ukip leader Nigel Farage found dead
Japan cracks down on leaks after scandal of Fukushima nuclear power plant
- 1 Hundreds arrested as Canadian police smash worldwide paedophile ring
- 2 Sherlock series 3: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman provide teasers for the biggest comeback in British television
- 3 Why Barcelona chose Everton to educate their latest prodigy
- 4 Mass murder in the Middle East is funded by our friends the Saudis
- 5 Japan cracks down on leaks after scandal of Fukushima nuclear power plant
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£80000 - £100000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Project Manag...
£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Business Analy...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits: Harrington Starr: A global Con...
£150 - £250 per day: Cornwallis Elt : iPhone Rollout- Blackberry Enginee...