Tangled Telecommunications Regulation

  • Wernhard Möschel

Abstract

According to a classic Jewish joke, sweet lemonade is the best contraception of all: not before and not after, but instead of. A similarly effective magic potion is still being sought for the telecommunications sector, in order to draw clear demarcation lines between regulatory responsibilities in place of today’s often fuzzy ones. At issue is the relationship between the Regulatory Authority for Telecommunications and Posts and the Federal Cartel Office. Whether the Cartel Office, in substance, applies the German Law against Restraints of Competition (GWB) or the competition rules of the European Union can make a difference. At issue is the position of the Commission in Brussels, the Commission being able to take both legislative and administrative action. And lastly, at issue also is the scope for intervention of the Federal Economics Minister. Is the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority—a higher federal authority in the portfolio of the Economics Ministry—subject to instructions in its individual rulings or can it invoke a certain independence? Or would a way round these issues even be to create a European regulator? Any attempt to mark off limits would be incomplete without mentioning finally that, should the boundaries between telecommunications services according to Section 3 of the German Telecommunications Act (TKG) on the one hand and teleservices or broadcasting according to the Teleservices Act and the Agreement on Media Services between the German Federal States on the other become blurred as a result of the growing convergence trends, the result could be disputed responsibilities with the media authorities in the federal states.

Keywords

Decen Iridium Monopoly 

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Endnotes

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wernhard Möschel
    • 1
  1. 1.Monopoly Commission of GermanyUniversity of TübingenGermany

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