Investigators Raid NetCity Office in Romania

Regulation and control is the mantra now for telecom regulators worldwide. Romania’s Anti-trust agency, Competition Council has initiated a series of investigation to probe the NetCity Telecom’s policies that the regular says is discriminatory. It is alleged that the NetCity, which operates the Bucharest’s underground fiber optic networks had established a dominant position and implemented restrictions that make sharing of the network difficult.

The Competition Council is an autonomous administrative body aimed at protecting and stimulating competition in order to ensure a normal competitive environment, with a view towards the consumers’ interests. Competition Council’s role has two major dimensions: a corrective dimension – restoring and maintaining a normal competitive environment and a preventive dimension – monitoring markets and observing the behavior of the actors participating in such markets.

Anti-trust inspectors carried out inspections at NetCity’s headquarters examining several documents. According to the Competition Council, NetCity may have applied a discriminatory conduct in granting access to its infrastructure.

Netcity Telecom S.A. Netcity is the concessionaire network, with the main focus in design, implementation, technical services and its commercial. The company is the operator of the infrastructure for communications. Netcity Telecom intends to provide its network infrastructure to all transparent and non-telecom operators who work or wish to provide services throughout the capital of Romania.

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According to the Competition Council’s preliminary report from March 2015, other companies that own fiber optic infrastructure or networks in Bucharest don’t represent real alternatives to the NetCity network. The competition watchdog concluded that NetCity had a monopoly in Bucharest and recommended the company to “stay away from abusive practices”.

The officials of NetCity said that they would cooperate with the Competition Council’s investigation. They added that the company has presented documents and photo evidence which showed that its network only covered 10% of Bucharest’s area and that it had only 2.5% of the market. NetCity has raised concerns that the aerial fiber optic cable networks in Bucharest have been built without permits and have been distorting competition.

Author: Praveen Gupta

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