On Tuesday, European Union (EU) digital agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes confirmed that the European Commission (EC) will conduct an “exhaustive, fact-finding exercise” to determine the extent to which EU telecom operators are upholding principles of net neutrality. Disappointing Skype and other parties that have complained of discrimination in the free flow of web traffic, Kroes stopped short of immediately imposing net neutrality mandates, explaining there is a lack of evidence that charges of web traffic blocking or throttling “are justified at this stage.” Following on net neutrality rules that were adopted by the FCC last December (and that were disapproved by members of the House earlier this month), the EC probe will focus on web traffic blocking and throttling and the extent to which such practices constitute justifiable network management that is aimed at ensuring optimal flow of traffic across congested networks. Regulators from EU-member states will also be asked for input on the sufficiency of new EU laws that, among other things, require carriers to disclose traffic management practices to consumers and authorize national regulators to set minimum service standards for mobile Internet operators. Any new net neutrality rules to be promulgated as a result of the probe will likely be introduced next year. Although a spokesman for the BT Group described the EC’s investigation as “balanced and reasonable,” the European Consumers Organization lamented Kroes’s approach as a missed opportunity,” arguing: “there is plenty of evidence that a problem exists and that we need strong action.”