Following an in-depth investigation, the European Commission (EC) has concluded that the approach of the German telecoms regulator, the Federal Network Agency (FNA, also known as Bundesnetzagentur or BNetzA), for the calculation of fixed termination rates (FTRs) does not follow the European Union (EU) recommended approach and leads to competition and consumer harm. According to the FNA, FTRs for alternative fixed operators will be based on the previously applied methodology for incumbent operator Telekom Deutschland (TD), but the EC says that, if adopted, the new rates in Germany would be over 200% higher than in member states that follow the EC’s recommendation. Brussels says it now requires the FNA to withdraw its proposal or to amend it in order to bring it in line with the EC’s guidelines.
In its proposal, the FNA defined FTRs that should apply retrospectively as of 1 December 2012 until 30 November 2014. In April 2013 the EC criticised the German regulator’s method for calculating FTRs for TD, and in August 2013 issued a recommendation directing the FNA to amend or withdraw the proposal. However, the German watchdog did not follow the recommended guidelines, and now intends to set FTRs for the remaining operators following the same approach it applied for TD.