The Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal (Tribunal) overturned the Dutch telecoms regulator OPTA’s decisions for regulated access to analogue cable TV distribution. OPTA has now launched a new market analysis of the TV broadcasting sector to examine which cable operators may hold significant market power necessitating regulated third-party access.
In its decisions, OPTA considered the relevant product market at retail level wider than broadcasting over cable and defined it as the market for the provision of radio and television signals and access to a broadcasting platform through cable networks, terrestrial broadcasting, IPTV services from telecom operators, satellite and fibre optic cable.
OPTA limited the geographic scope of this market to the “footprint” of the cable operators. Due to the narrow geographic scope, the regional cable operators were considered to hold significant market power which needed remedying through regulated third-party access.
The Tribunal annulled OPTA’s decisions for failure to convincingly demonstrate that the competition conditions in the “footprint” of the cable operators appreciably differed from those on the national market. As a result, the geographic scope of the product market defined by OPTA should have been national instead of regional.
OPTA has announced it will initiate a new market analysis of the TV broadcasting market to remedy the competition concerns it considers still to exist on the TV broadcasting market.