The Netherlands’ Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM’s) final analysis decision on Wholesale Fixed Access (WFA) will take effect on 1 October 2018, forcing VodafoneZiggo to offer wholesale cable broadband network access to competitors for the first time, alongside incumbent KPN’s existing wholesale copper and fibre access offers. ACM decided that KPN and VodafoneZiggo held joint significant market power (SMP), enabling them to ‘increase prices for consumers in tacit coordination, or to adjust conditions to their advantage’.
VodafoneZiggo must now draw up a reference offer for alternative operators to provide internet, television and fixed telephone services via its cable network. ACM notes that ‘there is room for negotiation with other providers’, adding that it expects this process to be completed during the course of next year.
For KPN, wholesale obligations are now lighter than previously in certain respects: for instance, the telco may phase out wholesale copper access in areas covered by fibre-optics, although ACM stresses that it has set conditions to ensure that other providers using KPN’s network can continue to compete effectively.
The European Commission issued no formal objection to ACM’s WFA decision in a statement at the end of August, although it requested clarifications which ACM has addressed in comments incorporated in the final decision.