Telecom: France pushes for European consolidation

At a time of growth in new technologies, Europe is concerned about the fragmentation of its telecommunications market, fragmented among a hundred national operators, while the United States and China have only three major ones. Too many small European players risk not being able to keep up with the pace of investment set by the innovation of the digital giants, to the detriment of the EU’s competitiveness. The heterogeneity of national regulations also penalizes the spread of new services across Europe: for example, how to create a network for autonomous vehicles if the technical rules change when crossing a border?

On Tuesday, December 5, at a meeting held in Brussels, the telecommunications ministers of the member states declared that they are ready to deal with this issue. “They examined the measures that should be taken in the telecommunications market to promote a sustainable and secure digital environment and to ensure the EU’s digital sovereignty and independence.”, indicates in their joint statement. They welcome it “2024 Work Program of the Commission” Ჯanmo “Sets the stage for possible policy and regulatory action on digital networks and infrastructure”.

Harmonization of rules

Following a public consultation in the autumn, Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton promises a white paper on the subject by the middle of the first quarter of 2024. “This will allow us to have a clearer vision”– explained Mr. Breton at the end of the Telecommunications Ministerial Council, he was sure of that “Very strong equality of member states to reach an agreement” To write the Digital Networks Act (DNA).

France is clearly pushing for the creation of European giants. “I support the idea of ​​harmonizing European rules to promote the concentration of the telecommunications market and allow operators to develop in a wider market”Jean-Noel Barot, France’s Minister of Digital and Telecom, says Encourage the Commission to present all possible measures to unify the telecommunications market to allow for significant mergers..

In the past, Orange and Deutsche Telekom have repeatedly discussed a merger, more or less seriously. But the case never moved forward, blocked by governance issues and doubts about the synergies such a cross-border marriage would offer. The two operators simply formed a joint company called BuyIn in 2011 to consolidate their equipment purchases and save money.

Source: Le Monde

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