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Dutch appeal body rejects OPTA cable market analysis

The Dutch board of appeals for businesses, the College van Beroep voor het bedrijfsleven, has said that the market definitions used by regulator OPTA when it forced cable operators Ziggo and UPC to open up their analogue networks to competition were wrong.

The board has rejected OPTA’s finding that the cable operators were dominant providers in their specific regional footprints and has accepted the cable operators’ claim that a single national market for TV services should be the basis of any analysis.

The board said that the shares of the cable operators were declining and that there was no clear difference in prices charged by the different operators for their services.

The decision will have a significant impact as Ziggo and UPC were forced as a result of the OPTA analysis to open up their analogue networks to competitive offers. Tele2 recently launched a competitive analogue offer over the pair’s networks.