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Europe Drops Standards Cartel Investigation into Mobile Networks

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The European Commission has dropped an investigation into the five largest mobile networks after it expressed concerns about how industry standards are being set by mobile network operators.

Last March, the Commission confirmed that it had requested information from five large telecom operators (the "E5": Deutsche Telecom, France Télécom, Telefónica, Vodafone and Telecom Italia) and from the mobile sector association GSMA about the way standards for future mobile communications services are being developed.

The Commission said that its policy is to ensure that standardisation processes led by major telecom operators are not being used strategically to foreclose other companies.

The Commission notes that the standardisation work formerly conducted by the E5 has been transferred to the GSMA and other industry associations.

The Commission said that it welcomes this transfer, which allows more stakeholder participation, and that it is a positive step that reduces the risk of standard setting work affecting competition negatively. Therefore, the Commission is closing its preliminary investigation.

The Commission will remain watchful of how standardisation processes evolve in this sector though.

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Tags: european commission  gmsa