The European Commission (EC) has suspended the mobile termination rate (MTR) proposal submitted by German telecoms regulator the Federal Network Agency (FNA, also known as Bundesnetzagentur), on the grounds that the plan could mean that German consumers would pay unjustifiably high prices for their mobile calls. The EC noted that as part of its proposal, the FNA had opted not to follow the method for calculating MTRs set out in the Commission’s 2009 Recommendation on Termination Rates. Instead, the proposal included a price control method which would result in MTRs that are around 80% higher than in member states that comply with the EC’s Recommendation. ‘The vast majority of member states play ball and are now applying EU telecoms rules in a coordinated way that brings maximum benefit to consumers and to competition. German operators should not be given special treatment,’ said EC vice president Neelie Kroes. In the letter sent to the FNA, the EC explains that the new rates in the regulator’s proposal do not comply with the principles and objectives of EU telecoms rules which require member states to promote competition and the interests of consumers in the EU, as well as the development of the single market. The German regulator now has three months to work with the EC and the Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC) on amending its proposal in order to make it compliant with EU law.
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