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OPTA: now no need for regulation of TV market

Changing conditions mean that there is no need to regulate the cable TV market in the Netherlands, media regulator OPTA has concluded. This reverses the regulator’s conclusion two years ago that cable networks UPC and Ziggo should be forced to open up their analogue tiers to competition from rivals.

OPTA has published the results of a market analysis to test whether the country’s cable-dominated TV market met three criteria that would justify intervention – high non-transient barriers to entry, lack of effective competition and a situation where the application of general competition law alone was not sufficient to remedy market failure.

It concluded that the market now met none of these criteria, whether that “market” was defined as the region covered by a specific cable company or the nation as a whole. The regulator’s analysis said that while barriers to entry remained high, these were being reduced, while the decline of analogue cable TV and the emergence of new distributors meant that there was no longer a lack of effective competition.

OPTA’s earlier decision to force the two largest operators to open up their analogue networks to competition was reversed last year by the country’s industry appeals tribunal. 

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