Access to telecommunications markets : the interrelation between general competition rules and sector-specific rules in the EU and Japan
The starting point of the thesis is the key competition law issues that arise in relation to access to telecommunications markets in the EU and Japan. This issue is presently regulated in the EU and Japan by a dual regime combining general competition law regulation and sector-specific regulation aimed at opening up the markets. Chapter 1 analyses the relevant general competition rules (i.e. dominance and its abuse, including the doctrine of essential facilities) and the relevant sector-specific rules (i.e. interconnection) that apply to access to EU telecommunications markets. Chapter 2 does the same exercise for Japan through the analysis of the relevant general competition rules (i.e. refusal to deal) and sector-specific rules (i.e. general market access regulation and interconnection) that apply to access to Japanese telecommunications markets. The analysis described above leads to the core object of the thesis which is the study, undertaken at Chapter 3, of the interrelation between general competition rules and sector-specific rules as they apply to access to telecommunications markets in the EU and Japan. This thesis will argue that the dual regime presently regulating access to the EU and Japanese telecommunications industries needs to be maintained. However, the increasing complexity and dynamic character of the telecommunications industry means that a change in the current interrelation between the two types of regulation is necessary. It will be argued that the future balance between the two types of regulation should be one where sector-specific rules will increasingly serve limited functions and where general competition rules will progressively take precedence over the regulation of third party access to telecommunications markets.