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Telecom Italia: commercial offerings completely fair. Authority proceedings lack transparency

04/12/2001 - 12:00 PM

In acknowledging initiation of procedures by the Communications Regulatory Authority for punitive measures against Telecom Italia, the company wishes to underline that all its commercial offerings completely fulfill the criteria of fairness, and are designed to cater to market requirements and respond to competitor initiatives. Indeed, company offerings are always positioned above cost price, in full respect of the conditions of transparency laid down by national and EU industry and competition regulations. As the company has already had occasion to demonstrate to the Regulatory Authority since October, at no time has there come to pass a situation that would justify action such as that being considered by the Authority today.

In particular, Telecom Italia wishes to underline that:

1) the company has made use of information gathered by its Network division solely to communicate to carrier preselection customers that Telecom Italia is no longer responsible for their call traffic.
2) as regards xDSL broadband services, it is the Authority´s dilatory behaviour over the last year or so that has not only wrought serious harm on Telecom Italia, but also caused major delays, uncertainty and distortion in the data transmission market.
3) the company has always presented offers compatible with other carriers. In some cases the regulatory authority has promptly assessed, modified and authorized these offers, enabling the launch of a competitive marketplace. In other cases, the authority has ignored these offers for months at a time; this has given rise to litigation and hindered development of the market.
4) Many objections have been brought about by the lack of transparency in procedures adopted by the Authority and, in some cases, the complete absence of a procedural method.

Telecom Italia is waiting to hear the statement of motives adopted by the Authority in Naples, in order to present its counterargument as soon as possible.

Lastly, with regard to reports that a number of carriers have allegedly submitted complaints to the EU Commission to protest against the Authority ruling which made it possible to once again commercialize broadband services in Italy (as elsewhere), lifting a pointless suspension that lasted a number of months, Telecom Italia notes that the entire issue was resolved by ruling no. 4/01/Cir and by a recent verdict issued by the Rome Court of Appeal, which found in favour of Telecom Italia. It follows that, though still awaiting the soon-to-be-announced conclusion of a specific inquiry by the Authority into a particular type of xDSL offer (which, in any event, was never placed on the retail market), the company considers the reasoning adopted by its competitors to be groundless and unfounded.