Dutch govt issues bill to protect national telecoms infrastructure; seeks assurances on any KPN sale

11 Jun 2014

The government of the Netherlands has published a new bill designed to better protect the nation’s telecoms infrastructure, by ensuring that any company or group looking to take control of the incumbent KPN Telecom (Royal KPN) or its networks first secures a ‘certificate of no objection’ from the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Telecompaper writes that the bill was proposed by the economic affairs minister Henk Kamp and has been selected ahead of rival proposals that called for a partial reversal of the privatisation of KPN and another that considered the introduction of a ‘golden share’ ownership system for the carrier. In dismissing the alternatives, the government noted that they either might be too expensive or indeed, contrary to European Union (EU) law. The minister is looking to present the final draft bill to parliament in the spring of 2015, once full consultation has been taken with bodies such as the European Commission (EC). Mr Kamp notes that the Netherlands’ existing telecoms legislation is ‘inadequate’ to address the potential ramifications surrounding a possible KPN takeover in future. The bill currently on the table has been drafted following a long period of discussion arising from America Movil’s (AM’s) bid for the PTO last year. The government has highlighted a number of concerns, not least fears over a risk to national security.

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