Gunter Knieps


The purpose of this Essay is to focus on the role of market power where interconnection and network access problems are involved. The Essay is organized by parts. Part I sketches the European Union history with respect to open network provision (“ONP”) policy. In Part II, the market-share concept of market power applied within Council Directive 97/33, European Community on Interconnection in Telecommunications of June 30, 1997 (“Interconnection Directive”) is criticized as an important source for an oversized regulatory basis. Instead, the criteria for an economically justified disaggregated regulatory framework for the ONP concept is pointed out in order to localize the proper regulatory basis. It is shown that the regulatory basis should be restricted to local cable-based networks (“monopolistic bottleneck areas”). Part III explains the role of efficient private bargaining of interconnection/access conditions, as long as monopolistic bottlenecks are absent. Next, Part IV analyzes regulation of interconnection to monopolistic bottlenecks, particularly, the role of the “essential facility” doctrine. Finally, Part V discusses costing and pricing issues of interconnection services within the ONP concept.