The Dutch Trade & Industry Appeals Tribunal (CBb) – the highest administrative law court in the Netherlands – has reversed the 2018 decision of telecoms regulator Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) which had ordered cableco VodafoneZiggo and incumbent PSTN operator KPN to provide wholesale access to their fixed networks. The CBb decision of 17 March 2020 sided with KPN and VodafoneZiggo – scrapping ACM’s determination that the pair held joint significant market power – while rejecting appeals from rivals T-Mobile and Tele2 Netherlands.
ACM issued a statement that it ‘is disappointed with the ruling, and will now study the effects thereof’. ACM had previously asserted that both KPN and VodafoneZiggo should open up their fixed networks to other providers in its Wholesale Fixed Access market analysis decision which took effect in October 2018. ACM said both KPN and VodafoneZiggo had strong positions on this market and were able to use those positions to raise prices, adjust conditions to their advantage or to delay investments.