In a surprise development, the European Parliament (EP) on Wednesday rejected a wide-ranging overhaul of European Union (EU) telecom rules as EP members deadlocked on a late amendment that would have limited the prosecution of EU web users who illegally download copyrighted material. As agreed to last month by the European Commission (EC), EU member states and representatives of the EP, the reform package would have created a pan-European telecom regulatory body, to be comprised of regulators from each of the 27 EU member states, which would share veto power with the EC over member state regulations that contradict EC competition rules. Among other things, the package would have also (1) mandated the functional separation of carriers in areas where competition is deemed ineffective, (2) enhanced rights to online privacy, and (3) established a plan for the distribution of radio spectrum among emerging wireless technologies. For the reform deal to pass, the package will now have to go through a conciliation process that will not occur until a new parliament is voted into office this summer.
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EU Parliament rejects telecom reform package
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