EU's Approach To Telecom Regulation: Balloon Squeezing

EU telecom regulators have been on the warpath lately against high roaming charges, and plan to force operators to lower rates, despite plans by many operators to cut the rates on their own. The biggest risks of such heavy-handed regulation are the unintended consequences they often create. The regulators should be well aware of this, since it was the conditions they attached to Vodafone's buyout of German operator Mannesmann in 2000 that helped bring about the high roaming rates they now see as a problem. With that in mind, it's hardly surprising to see one carrier prepare for the coming forced rate cuts by raising its roaming charges in most of the rest of the world. So Orange's EU customers will pay lower rates while they're within the EU, sure -- then get reamed when they go outside it. Somehow, it would be surprising if the net effect hit the carrier's bottom line. This sort of regulation is just like squeezing a balloon -- pushing things down in one area just makes them go up in another.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.