In a effort to revive its Open Cable policy, the Dutch telecoms regulator OPTA said it will launch a new TV market analysis. The decision follows a ruling by the Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal to overturn the first analysis.
Since no appeal was possible after the Tribunal’s ruling, the only option left for OPTA was conducting a new market enquiry. The regulator argued that on a regional level, the cable operators hold a dominant position on the TV market. According to the Tribunal, there is enough competition on a nationwide level and as a consequence, slashed the efforts to allow third party reselling of analogue cable.
Chris Fonteijn, OPTA Chairman, said in a statement: “The judge’s ruling has put an end the opening of the TV cable. This does not mean that the problems [on the TV market] that OPTA found, automatically disappear. OPTA considers it important that consumers have sufficient choice and are not overpaying for their television subscription. OPTA also likes that there is some choice for consumers in terms of a bundle of telephony, Internet TV. More and more consumers subscribe to such an all-in-one package.”
In a reaction, Ziggo, the country’s largest cable operator, said it is looking forward to the new analysis “with confidence.” According to the cabler, there is indeed enough competition on cable, DTT, satellite DTH and FTTH networks. However, the operator is now conducting “positive talks” with Tele 2, one of the parties who want to act as a third party reseller of the analogue cable TV product. These discussion are intended to still find a way to cooperate commercially. Similar talks are under way with UPC.
UPC issued the following statement: “UPC is still of the opinion that the Dutch television market is very competitive and innovative. This market is fastly developing and is more and more part of a larger market with many suppliers. The competition amongst these suppliers is fierce and increases choices for consumers. UPC is offering a broad product portfolio in this market against attractive prices. Today for example, UPC announced a strong decrease of its telephone tariffs for fixed-mobile calling in the Netherlands.”
Tele 2 said in a statement it is “satisfied” with the OPTA decision to launch a new enquiry into the Dutch television market. Just last week, the company started a aggressively priced digital TV alternative. The new triple pay package charges 5 euro for the entry level TV offer.
But Tele 2 will continue to “fight for more cable choice with the consumer,” according to Günther Vogelpoel, Director Consumermarketing at Tele2.