Germany ordered to amend or scrap MTR hike

28 Jun 2013

Following a three month investigation, the European Commission (EC) has requested that Germany’s telecoms regulator the Federal Network Agency (FNA, also known as BNetzA) amend or withdraw its mobile termination rate (MTR) plan, which the EC says would result in rates that are around 80% higher than most other member states. According to the EC, the German watchdog failed to provide convincing reasons during the investigation, which began in February this year, as to why it should be granted special treatment and be allowed to deviate from the method for calculating MTRs set out in the Commission’s 2009 Recommendation on Termination Rates. ‘The proposed MTRs do not comply with the principles and objectives of European Union (EU) telecoms rules which require member states to promote competition and the interests of consumers in the EU, as well as the development of the single market,’ an EC press release said. It added that the approach proposed by the FNA would also favour German mobile operators at the expense of foreign ones, thus creating barriers to the single market. Under the recommendation, the FNA is required to either withdraw or amend its proposals in order to bring them in line with the approach recommended by the EC; should the German regulator fail to do so, the EC said it would then consider appropriate legal steps.

Germany, Federal Network Agency (FNA)