BEREC publishes its response to the Commission’s Public Consultation on the Review of the SMP Guidelines

19 June 2017

BEREC welcomes the opportunity to provide an input to the Public Consultation on the Review of the “Commission guidelines on market analysis and the assessment of significant market power under the Community regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services” (“SMP Guidelines”), which has been launched on March 27th. The main messages included in the BEREC response are the following:

- BEREC regrets that the review of the SMP Guidelines is conducted in parallel with the Framework Review, and not consecutively. Indeed, the current review of the Guidelines relies on the existing Framework, meaning that the possible evolution of the Framework will not necessarily be taken into account in this Guidelines Review

- BEREC remarks that, in line with previous reports as well as on-going discussion on the new Code, there is a need to address competition issues derived from “tight oligopolies”

- In addition, BEREC's response is mainly focused on requesting guidance on collective dominance. The evolution of electronic communication services markets from single SMP to oligopolistic structures makes the issue of identifying joint dominance more urgent. Yet, past experiences showed that NRAs have had problems when trying to identify joint dominance.

All the specific issues addressed in BEREC responses were previously raised in its reports apart from a request of general guidance on addressing convergent markets and especially bundling practices that are becoming more relevant. This contribution is not to be considered as an exhaustive list of issues as BEREC may raise additional issues when providing its opinion on the draft of the new guidelines, and does not pre-empt the orientation of the BEREC Opinion that will be then provided.