Romanian authorities open competition consultations

Romanian authorities open competition consultations

Romanian regulator ANCOM (National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications) has begun a public consultation after its own review identified no issues requiring new regulation for the wholesale fixed market.

After reviewing the fixed broadband market for the years 2015-2019, ANCOM deemed competition to be healthy in Romania’s fixed broadband sector as local loop usage is scarce at wholesale level. It also noted steady growth in the retail market.

While maximum internet speeds are increasing across the board, prices are in fact coming down – particularly for the fastest transmission speeds. This has resulted in high levels of customer satisfaction.

As of 2019, Romania had over 480 fixed broadband access providers, making its market one of the most competitive in the EU. However, the country’s Competition Council has opened a separate consultation relating to its market leading fixed broadband and cable TV provider, RCS&RDS.

In December 2019, RCS&RDS announced that it had agreed a €77 million (US$86.6 million) deal to operate networks owned by Digital Cable Systems (operating under the AKTA brand) and ATTP Telecommunications.

Since RCS&RDS already has a share of over 50% in its markets – and the deal could see it fully acquire ATTP’s infrastructure and customers under certain criteria - the deal has raised concern from Romania’s competition watchdog.

In a bid to assuage this, RCS&RDS has committed to switching all of AKTA and ATTP’s customers to fibre optic infrastructure within three years of being granted permission.  It has also pledged to ensure all tariffs are in line with its current standards by lowering the new customers’ rates by 10% - 15% and imposing a three-year freeze on subscription charges.

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