Regulation of market power in telecommunications
Produced in partnership with Ronnie Preiskel of Preiskel & Co LLP
Regulation of market power in telecommunications

The following TMT practice note produced in partnership with Ronnie Preiskel of Preiskel & Co LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Regulation of market power in telecommunications
  • Ofcom’s powers
  • Ofcom market reviews
  • BCMR 2019
  • PIMR 2019
  • Appealing Ofcom decisions
  • Future market reviews

Telecommunications in the UK is subject to sector-specific regulation and general competition law. This Practice Note sets out how market reviews of the telecoms sector are undertaken by the UK’s national regulatory authority, Ofcom, with particular focus upon the review of the Physical Infrastructure and Business Connectivity Markets and the Wholesale Fixed Telecoms Market Review.

Ofcom’s powers

Ofcom has certain powers under the Communications Act 2003 to review specific markets to determine whether there is effective competition and to impose appropriate remedies to address any competition problems that are identified.

Some of these powers were derived originally from European directives which were implemented into UK law. The most recent of these was Directive (EU) 2018/1972 establishing the European Electronic Communications Code (Recast) (the European Electronic Communications Code) which was implemented in December 2020. These powers therefore continue to apply, as the implementing laws constitute EU-derived domestic legislation which form part of retained EU law.

For further information on the European Electronic Communications Code, see Practice Note: The European Electronic Communications Code.

For further information on retained EU law, see Practice Note: Introduction to retained EU law.

When considering each market review, Ofcom can decide to impose certain remedies (conditions) on undertakings which enjoy individual or collective dominance. In regulated telecoms markets, this is defined as undertakings with significant market power (SMP).

Ofcom market reviews

Ofcom regulates and reviews a number of communications

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