French government wants Arcep to intervene in the price war

2 Jan 2014

Fleur Pellerin, France’s Minister of Digital Economy, has announced that the country’s telecoms watchdog the Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes (Arcep) should be granted the authority to ensure the implementation of its decisions and enforce sanctions to ‘restore order’ in the wireless market, which is experiencing an intense price war, La Tribune reports.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in July 2013 France’s Constitutional Council revoked legal provisions governing the Arcep’s powers, thus stripping the telecoms watchdog of its authority to enforce sanctions. The Constitutional Council made the decision as it considered that Arcep was in non-compliance with the French Constitution’s principle of separation of power. However, Pellerin said in an interview with La Parisien that the ministry planned to correct the situation in early 2014, and warned that ‘if coverage commitments are not respected [by mobile operators], dissuasive sanctions (financial penalties, suspensions of licenses, etc.) will be taken.’ Further, Pellerin also revealed that in early 2014 a decree regulating mobile advertising will be implemented in conjunction with Benoit Hamon, the Minister Delegate to the Minister of Economy and Finance.

France, Arcep