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 Friday, December 06, 2002

On 20-22 November 2002, the ITU Strategy and Policy Unit hosted a workshop on Competition Policy in Telecommunications. The workshop offered an opportunity for competition and telecommunications policy-makers, national telecommunications regulators, user groups, experts and industry, to exchange information and experiences on the issue of competition policy and law in telecommunications regulation. The background and objectives of the workshop, workshop documents, which includes country case studies for Denmark (PDF), India (PDF) and the United States (PDF), presentations made at the workshop, as well as the Chairman's report (PDF) (recommended) are available on the ITU web site.

  • "The definitions of markets and dominance are key to the application of competition policy and law in telecommunications and other sectors. In the past, two principal approaches have been taken in defining relevant markets, one based on statutory service classifications commonly used in sector-specific regulation, and the other based on demand and supply substitutability, used in competition law. In the latter approach, a hypothetical monopolist test is typically applied as a tool to identify the range of services and the geographic area that constitute a market. Since markets evolve continually, there is a risk of obsolescence if market definitions are cast in legislation or regulations for the purpose of sector-specific regulation. In this regard, technologically neutral market definitions, such as those underlying the new European Union telecommunications regulatory framework are seen as more flexible than those of countries such as the United States, where traditionally different services, such as fixed, wireless mobile and cable services are regulated under different parts of the US Communications Act."

I discussed the new European Unionís telecommunication regulatory framework, which represents an attempt to move away from technology-specific and service-specific legislation, in this speech I gave in July 2002.