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European Commission hits Estonia with EU Court Referral

Estonia has been referred to the EU Court of Justice after failing to update its national law concerning the impartiality of its telecoms regulator.

In June last year, the European Commission requested that Estonia bring its law into compliance with EU telecoms rules, which state that national authorities involved in regulation may not in any way own or control telecoms companies. Estonia has failed to respond to this request.

Estonian law does not guarantee regulatory impartiality, which has allowed the country’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications to have a controlling interest in state broadcaster Levira while also performing some regulatory duties such as assigning spectrum frequencies.

Levira operates Estonia’s largest TV and radio network. It also provides wireless broadband access and other telecoms services.

The EC has highlighted that an impartial regulator could have an obvious negative impact on market competition.

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