EC Electronic Communications and Competition Law

Burri, Mira (2007). EC Electronic Communications and Competition Law [Textbook] . London: Cameron May Publishing

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Telecommunications have developed at an incredible speed over the last couple of decades. The decreasing size of our phones and the increasing number of ways in which we can communicate are barely the only result of this (r)evolutionary development. The latter has indeed multiple implications.

The change of paradigm for telecommunications regulation, epitomised by the processes of liberalisation and reregulation, was not sufficient to answer all regulatory questions pertinent to communications. Today, after the transition from monopoly to competition, we are faced perhaps with an even harder regulatory puzzle, since we must figure out how to regulate a sector that is as dynamic and as unpredictable as electronic communications have proven to be, and as vital and fundamental to the economy and to society at large.

The present book addresses the regulatory puzzle of contemporary electronic communications and suggests the outlines of a coherent model for their regulation. The search for such a model involves essentially deliberations on the question "Can competition law do it all?", since generic competition rules are largely seen as the appropriate regulatory tool for the communications domain. The latter perception has been the gist of the 2002 reform of the European Community (EC) telecommunications regime, which envisages a withdrawal of sectoral regulation, as communications markets become effectively competitive and ultimately bestows the regulation of the sector upon competition law only.

The book argues that the question of whether competition law is the appropriate tool needs to be examined not in the conventional contexts of sector specific rules versus competition rules or deregulation versus regulation but in a broader governance context. Consequently, the reader is provided with an insight into the workings and specific characteristics of the communications sector as network-bound, converging, dynamic and endowed with a special societal role and function. A thorough evaluation of the regulatory objectives in the communications environment contributes further to the comprehensive picture of the communications industry.

Upon this carefully prepared basis, the book analyses the communications regulatory toolkit. It explores the interplay between sectoral communications regulation, competition rules (in particular Article 82 of the EC Treaty) and the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) relevant to telecommunications services. The in-depth analysis of multilevel construct of EC communications law is up-to-date and takes into account important recent developments in the EC competition law in practice, in particular in the field of refusal to supply and tying, of the reform of the EC electronic communications framework and new decisions of the WTO dispute settlement body, such as notably the Mexico-Telecommunications Services Panel Report.

Upon these building elements, an assessment of the regulatory potential of the EC competition rules is made. The conclusions drawn are beyond the scope of the current situation of EC electronic communications and the applicable law and explore the possible contours of an optimal regulatory framework for modern communications.

The book is of particular interest to communications and antitrust law experts, as well as policy makers, government agencies, consultancies and think-tanks active in the field. Experts on other network industries (such as electricity or postal communications) can also profit from the substantial experience gathered in the communications sector as the most advanced one in terms of liberalisation and reregulation.

Item Type:

Book (Textbook)


02 Faculty of Law > Department of Economic Law > World Trade Institute
10 Strategic Research Centers > World Trade Institute

02 Faculty of Law > Department of Economic Law > NCCR International Trade Regulation
02 Faculty of Law > Department of Economic Law > Institute of European and International Economic Law

UniBE Contributor:

Burri, Mira


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 340 Law




Cameron May Publishing




Tihomira Burri

Date Deposited:

15 Oct 2014 11:45

Last Modified:

31 May 2017 10:57


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