Telefónica Europe’s CEO has warned the mobile industry needs a more stable approach to regulation if it is to continue to thrive.
José María Álvarez-Pallete López was speaking to Mobile amid greater scrutiny of the sector by the European Commission. López said he was in favour of a lighter touch.
He said: ‘We have ongoing conversations with the European Commission. We are trying to collaborate and share so we are prepared for the next generation of mobile phones. We are one of the few sectors that is deflationary, we don’t ask for subsidies and we are in the business of creating jobs. We need to have a more stable regulatory environment. We don’t ask for special favours and that’s what we have been sharing with [EC digital agenda commissioner Neelie] Kroes.’
Last month, Kroes got into a row with Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao after he attacked the commission’s ‘continuous intervention on prices’. The commissioner
hit back and said regulation was good for both consumers and the industry.
Earlier this week, the Commission launched a probe into whether Europe’s five largest telecoms companies colluded during a series of meetings in 2010. The now disbanded E5 group, which included Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom, Telecom Italia, Telefónica and Vodafone Group, as well as trade association GSMA, held a number of meetings to discuss trade matters such as mobile payments.
A spokesperson for the Commission said its request for information about the meetings was not an immediate sign it had competition concerns.