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Impartiality in telecoms regulation see Estonia referred to Court of Justice

Estonia are set to face the EU Court of Justice after failing to provide evidence that their ties within the countries telecoms and broadcasting sector are separate enough so not to affect their policies. The country were sent a request by the Commission in 2012 asking them to separate their ownership of broadcasting company Levira, who are the countries largest provider of TV and radio as well as providing broadband and telecoms services, from their policies being implemented into the telecoms sector.

There is a fear that the policies being laid down could be designed to create an immediate profit for Levira, whilst also reducing the competitiveness of the industry. The activities of granting frequency authorisation and radio frequency are not allowed to be controlled by a state-owned company, which has now prompted the Court of Justice to become involved.

If found in breach of the Impartiality requirements the Court could demand that the country make immediate changes to the telecoms infrastructure. If they then fail to do so, another infringement case would be opened, taking action to a more costly level.

The real winners of this scenario are likely to be the Estonian consumers. If the market is currently being controlled illegally, then changes will see a more competitive marketplace and likely cheaper prices or improved services from a range of suppliers.


Article By Darren Kingman