Market and Economic Analysis

The Market and Economic Analysis Working Group (MEA WG) focuses on all issues related to market reviews, including market definition, assessment of market power and market development. In light of this, factors such as competition, innovation and investments are crucial aspects of the analysis. Overall, the work aims to fulfil the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications’ (BEREC’s) goal of fostering independent, consistent and high-quality regulation of electronic communications networks and services for the benefit of Europe and its citizens.

In the past, MEA WG has worked closely with the European Commission in the development of key regulatory initiatives such as the Significant Market Power (SMP) guidelines and the Recommendation on relevant markets. The group has also published guidelines on the application of Article 76 of Directive (EU) 2018/1972 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2018 establishing the European Electronic Communications Code - the 'EECC' - with regard to co-investments. Finally, MEA WG reported on market analysis topics such as access to physical infrastructure, the effects of mergers and acquisitions, the analysis and regulation of oligopolies, geographical aspects, and the treatment of fixed and mobile backhaul.

Working Group Co-chairs

The image shows Iulia Zaim-Grigore, Co-chair of the BEREC Market and Economic Analysis Working Group
The image shows Jordi Canadell Boix, Co-chair of the BEREC Market and Economic Analysis Working Group

Iulia Zaim-Grigore

ANCOM, Romania

Jordi Canadell Boix

CNMC, Spain

Work in 2024

In 2024, the MEA WG will continue working on specific topics, based on the BEREC Work Programme 2024.

Report on the regulation of Physical Infrastructure Access

BEREC plans to procure an in-depth review on the Physical Infrastructure Access (PIA) regulation applicable in Europe given the high relevance of this topic. More specifically, BEREC has a twofold objective with this work item: (i) on the one hand, to focus on market notifications of the National Regulatory Authorities (NRA) who define a separate market for access to physical infrastructure susceptible to ex ante regulation, describe the market definitions applied (both from a product/service, as well as a geographical perspective), as well as reflect on the competitive situation assessments, and pinpoint conclusions regarding the existence or, on the contrary, inexistence of SMP providers on the identified markets, and (ii) on the other hand, given the limited number of stand-alone PIA market identified to date, examine the physical infrastructure access remedy imposed in markets 1 and 2/2020, and provide some reflections on the approaches taken, the motivations behind them and the expected evolution.

In both cases, BEREC will also assess the impact of these regulations on the deployment of Very High Capacity Networks (VHCN). Depending on the findings, BEREC may conclude with some recommendations. This report will also build on the previous work from 2019, when BEREC adopted on a wider note a Report on access to physical infrastructure in the context of market analysis.

Workshops on the ex-ante regulatory experience of commitments, wholesale-only undertakings, and commercial agreements’ review

BEREC previously looked in detail at the provisions of Article 76(1) on co-investments, and document BoR (20) 232 that provides guidelines on the consistent application of the conditions and (minimum) criteria for assessing co-investments in new VHCN. Since BEREC expects that, by now, some experience has been gained with the application of these articles in the market notification procedures (both in terms of procedural aspects, as well as on the substance of the application), it is considered timely to reflect on these developments. To that end, BEREC seeks to promote an experience sharing forum, where NRAs can learn from each other and, taking stock of the progress in the application of the provisions of the EECC, check on the opportunity to review the Co-investment Guidelines in the near future. At the same time, as the analysis of commercial agreements between the operators is gaining momentum in the context of regulatory reviews, this is seen as an opportunity to explore further the way in which those have been taken into account into the market analyses. Therefore, BEREC will hold an internal workshop to exchange views and experiences as regards the use of these tools.

At the same time, the stakeholders have manifested their direct interest into having a debate with the regulators concerning the importance of these legal provisions, their application and the monitoring, assessment and guidance that go together, during a stakeholder workshop. This would be also highly relevant in the context of the harmonization duties that BEREC holds. Thus, in light of these suggestion, BEREC will also organize an external workshop.

Workshop on the design, enforcement and monitoring of remedies in sub-national markets with multiple SMP operators

Once effective competition develops, but only in some areas of the countries, there is a tendency towards a geographical segmentation of markets and/or remedies. Additionally, with the incentivised deployment of alternative VHCNs, more situations may be identified in the future where several operators are deemed to have significant market power in different sub-national markets. There is therefore a need to anticipate the possible regulatory approaches, depending on the potential different, particular scenarios that could be identified. There are a few NRAs that have already gained experience in this area, whose cases are worthwhile studying closer. Other NRAs currently facing or expected to face similar scenarios in the short and medium term are to contribute to the further deepening of the understanding of the approaches towards market regulation in a sub-national environment.

In this context, the report will focus on the design, enforcement and monitoring of remedies to be imposed in such situations.

Why is this important?

The mission of MEA WG is to secure the regulatory scenery and alleviate potential competitive concerns related to topics under its remit. Quite generally, the group assists BEREC to fulfil its strategic priority of fostering full connectivity.