E.C. competition law in an era of modern telecommunications
This thesis examines competition law in the context of the changing telecommunications sector. Its purpose is to facilitate a re-assessment of contemporary competition law and policy by raising questions about its interpretation. This is principally achieved by questioning the underlying philosophy that informs the law and policy of competition in the particular context of developments occurring within the telecommunications industry. The focus is on competition law and policies of European Community law, but there are common problems faced by other systems of competition regulation. The thesis examines issues which must be taken into account in the useful development of legal norms for the positive development of an industry that is an important infrastructure to modem commerce. The thesis does not seek to advance any "perfect" model for competition regulation, in general or for the telecommunications sector. The premise throughout this thesis is that competition problem areas continue to be unresolved and need to be addressed in order for a competitive marketplace in telecommunications to succeed. The principal problem of market-dominance is pointed to and its threat to the continuance of a competitive market. This area is particularly interesting in relation to the present nature of telecommunications, which is one that inherently requires or encourages forms of co-operation and interconnection. Addressing competition problems, particularly in the early years of sector reform and liberalisation, is considered important in order to further ensure the success and endurance of a competitive market. In this respect, a re-evaluation is timely because of the changes occurring both politically and technically to the telecommunications sector. This study was undertaken during the early years of telecommunications liberalisation, and completed prior to 1998 when full liberalisation was to be in place throughout most of the EC.