MoC directs Bezeq to update ‘reverse bundling’ terms for Cellcom, Partner

22 Aug 2016

Israel’s Ministry of Communications (MoC) has reportedly raised issues with conditions imposed by fixed line incumbent Bezeq on rivals Partner and Cellcom for marketing their services as part of ‘reverse bundling’ offers.

As noted by Globes, reverse bundling is where Bezeq signs up subscribers to its internet infrastructure service and then offers them a choice of ISP for the internet service element. More typically customers approach an ISP for a service, and then choose to either access their service over Bezeq or HOT’s infrastructure through that ISP, while the introduction of wholesale market reforms in February 2015 means that customers also now have the option of contracting alternative ISPs to deliver their entire broadband plan (both infrastructure and service elements combined).

According to the report, the MoC has found fault with the way Bezeq has managed its reverse bundling service, ordering the telco to make the necessary corrections on its own back, lest the regulator be forced to intervene. The matter is understood to have come to a head after Partner and Cellcom suggested that Bezeq was discriminating against them, with the fixed line incumbent said to have updated the conditions for marketing them as part of its reverse bundling offers after the introduction of the wholesale market reforms. For its part, Bezeq has argued that it is being exploited by ISPs, claiming that it markets their services, only for them to then contact customers and try to move them on to broadband plans comprising both service and infrastructure, a move which would then see it effectively lose any customer that took up such an offer.