Saturday, 09 May 2020

Regarding press coverage concerning the study on the competitiveness of the Greek mobile data connectivity market

Regarding press coverage concerning the study on the competitiveness of the Greek mobile data connectivity market

In the context of its two recent Sector Inquiries on various competition law issues in the digital economy (E-commerceand Fintech Sector Inquiries), the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) has approached Rewheel - an independent Finnish research and consulting firm specialising in international mobile data connectivity comparisons, competition and network economic analysis – to conduct a study on the competitiveness of the Greek mobile data connectivity market.

Rewheel’s studies on competition in mobile telecoms markets have informed and/or have been cited by various competition authorities, regulatory bodies and ministries, such as, for example: the ex Commissioner of the European Commission responsible for Competition Joaquín Almunia, the United States Department of Justice, the New York, California and many other US State Attorney General Offices, the National Competition Authorities of Canada, Australia, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands, the Monopoly Commission of Germany, the Ministry of Economic Affairs of the Netherlands, the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic, the Korean Electronics and Telecommunication Research Institute, the National Regulatory Authorities of the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, Belgium and Ireland.

The purpose of the study on the competitiveness of the Greek mobile data connectivity market is to analyse, among other things, the situation regarding the prices and quality of the services offered to consumers in Greece, in terms of data connectivity, regarding data as the fuel of the digital economy.

In the context of promoting competition policies, which falls under the competence of the HCC for every sector of the economy, as the competent Authority in Greece, the HCC considered that such a study as well as the ensuing public debate are necessary due to the significant impact on the competitive structure of mobile broadband services for the development of the digital economy in Greece in the long run and, in particular, of E-commerce and new Fintechtechnologies. Rewheel's study reflects expert views. Rewheel was selected by HCC’s Plenary Decision Prior to its publication, the study was also assessed by independent experts, who are internationally renowned professors of network economics, competition economics and digital economy. Therefore, the study meets all the criteria of reliability on purely scientific and technocratic grounds.

The study also focuses on a problem that is not new, namely the high prices of mobile data connectivity services in Greece, which has repeatedly been dealt with by the European Commission’s annual mobile broadband price comparison studies as well as by the Greek government. Therefore, this is an existing issue, which is of great concern to consumers, who keep asking questions and complain, both to the HCC and the Hellenic Telecommunications and Post Commission (EETT) (to which the HCC systematically communicates them).

The HCC’s purpose is to strengthen competition without however over-regulating the market, which, in our opinion, will lead to lower prices, a better network quality and a wider user base, while closing the digital gap in favor of innovation, end consumers, especially the younger generation, but also of businesses (telecom companies and the digital economy in general).

To read Rewheel’s study on mobile data connectivity competitiveness in Greece, click here; for the original document of the study in English, click here and Rewheel’s supplementary comments here.

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