31 March 2003
The FCA and FICORA have agreed to tighten their co-operation. The objective is to promote competi-tion in the telecom market as efficiently as possible. The resources of the two authorities should be used appropriately in cases where their powers overlap.
On 14 March 2003, the authorities signed a co-operation memorandum, which clarifies the division of labour between the two offices and encourages customers to turn directly to the authority that is best equipped to handle a potential competition concern. The authorities will also be able to make better use of each other’s special expertise in their own investigations. In the end, the co-operation will benefit the users of telecom services.
The co-operation will become even more significant when the new Telecommunications Act becomes effective on 25 July 2003. Under the Act, FICORA will be responsible for market definitions and analy-ses related to cases of significant market power in accordance with the principles traditionally used in competition law reviews.
The offices have concluded that FICORA is better equipped to assess questions related to reasonable pricing and the FCA competition restraints such as price discrimination, in particular. However, it is not always possible to avoid processing the same cases in the two offices. This is why the offices have agreed on an exchange of information within the limits of confidentiality obligations set in the law. When necessary, any conflicting decisions will be avoided by postponing decision-making till the decision of the other office or a court of law has been obtained.
FICORA and the FCA have also agreed to co-operate in the area of personnel training and to set up an expert working group that will concentrate on market definition issues.