Co-investment commitments and wholesale only access models in the light of Articles 76 and 80 of the European Electronic Communications Code
The European Electronic Communications Code has expanded the flexibility of remedies can be imposed by the national regulatory authorities in compliance with the principle of proportionality of regulatory interventions with respect to the competitive problems identified in the market. In this sense, the Code has provided forms of strong deregulation of operators with significant market power in cases in which they adopt co-investment commitments open to all operators or are active exclusively in the wholesale market. The two cases are not necessarily alternatives, as they can actually overlap in a single operator.
Although co-investment commitments and wholesale only models do not configure market structures or pre-ordered competitive models, it is of absolute interest to evaluate the possible scenarios and competitive dynamics (eg infrastructural competition among wholesalers vs price competition among resellers) derive from the regulatory treatment applied to specific co-investment projects or to wholesaler only.
Currently in Italy, Open Fiber is subject to regulatory measures consistent with art. 80 of the Code, as the concessionaire of the Infratel tenders for the construction and management of the fiber optic network. In Europe the only co-investment project was proposed by TIM under art. 76 of the Code. Regarding such a project, AGCom has started a market test in which interested parties will be able to provide their positioning by 22 May 2021.
TIM’s co-investment offer is characterized by:
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