L’Competition and Market Authority concluded the procedure relating to the access agreements to the infrastructure of FiberCop accepting the commitments proposed by TIM, Fastweb, Tiscali and by the companies of the KKR fund.
The investigation had started on 15 December 2020 due to the presence of numerous competition problems in the agreements relating to FiberCop. In particular, the Competition Authority wanted verify that the agreements did not create obstacles to competitionis “in the medium and long term“, in the wholesale markets of fixed telecommunications. In addition to determining a real infrastructure for the alternative operators who would assume the role of mere resellers of TIM services, without any significant qualitative or economic differentiation. Furthermore, the Guarantor wanted to ensure that these agreements led to a “rapid modernization of the country’s fixed telecommunications infrastructure“.
TIM expressed satisfaction with the AGCM decision:
The AGCM decision confirms the effectiveness of the project promoted by TIM which is accelerating the development of the latest generation network infrastructures, to the benefit of the digitization of the entire country.
The procedure concerned very complex aspects of the network and the Authority directed its action by balancing the benefits in terms of sharing investments with the risks of restricting competition. According to the Antitrust, infrastructure competition, the plurality of networks and wholesale and retail suppliers in competition are “essential elements in the telecommunications market”.
COMMITMENTS BASED ON TWO PILLARS
Overall, the commitments accepted by the Authority they are based on two pillars: reduce the barriers to customer acquisitionthat is the telecommunication operators, in the fixed telecommunication wholesale market, favoring a full infrastructural competition e favor infrastructure through the reduction of related costs and the identification of stringent deadlines and hedging objectives.
As for the first pillar, a note reads, the commitments make it possible “decrease the risks of foreclosure of the demand for wholesale telecommunication services by telecommunication operators”reducing the guaranteed minimums and the geographical scale of joining the project (from national to municipal or sub-municipal) and introducing membership profiles to the FiberCop project based on long-term rights, without guaranteed minimums.
On the investment front, TIM has provided a certain and defined time schedule of the infrastructure plan and is committed to providing, together with FiberCop, information suitable for investment planning by alternative operators. Furthermore, TIM will facilitate the infrastructure of alternative operators by offering them the dark fiber in the primary networkthus reducing infrastructure costs and timing.
Again from the point of view of infrastructure, Fastweb has pledged to follow a path until 2026so from access FiberCop services as an operator effectively independent from TIM And Tiscali has modified and / or terminated some contracts which did not determine any infrastructures, limiting at the same time the contestability of the wholesale supply.
MONITORING THE FULFILLMENT OF COMMITMENTS
A further important objective that the Authority intends to achieve, concludes the note, is the effective execution of the commitments. In this regard it is expected an articulated monitoring and supervisory system on the fulfillment of the obligations undertaken and on the timely compliance with the hedging objectives. A first check will take place within sixty days.
In conclusion, the Authority retained the commitments
sufficient to remove the anti-competitive concerns highlighted in the start-up provision and considered that, also in light of the purposes underlying the Italian strategy for ultra-broadband, the provision adopted, preserving and encouraging infrastructure competition, is functional to achieving – by 2026 – the more general 1 Gbit / second connectivity targets throughout the country.