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Economic Regulation Issues September 2009

New Block Exemption Regulation
Europa Press Releases, September 29, 2009

The European Commission has adopted a new Block Exemption Regulation revising the current exemption for liner shipping consortia from the EC Treaty's ban on restrictive business practices (Article 81). The current consortia block exemption Regulation 823/2000, which expires in April 2010, allows shipping lines to enter into cooperation for the purpose of providing a joint service in transporting cargo. <<More>>

Guidelines on Bank Charges
International Law Office, September 25, 2009

The guidelines issued by Bank of Mexico aim to eliminate inappropriate practices in connection with bank charges, ensuring that such fees and the mechanisms for their collection are transparent and that charges are incurred only for services rendered.<<More>>

Investigating Resale Services
Commerce Commission, September 25, 2009

The Commerce Commission will commence an investigation into whether the services Telecom Corporation of New Zealand provides to other telecommunications companies to be resold should be deregulated. <<More>>

Competition Authorities Truly Independent
International Law Office, September 25, 2009

In a recent interview Shan Ramburuth, Head of the Competition Commission, South Africa noted that in the 2008-2009 financial year the commission received 131 prohibited practices complaints, 11 of which were referred to the Competition Tribunal for consideration. In addition, 424 mergers were unconditionally approved and only eight mergers were prohibited.<<More>>

Excessive Concession Fees
Bundeskartellamt, September 21, 2009

The BKartA has prohibited GAG Gasversorgung Ahrensburg GmbH of Schleswig-Holstein from charging abusively excessive concession fees and ordered their reimbursement. The decision is not yet final.<<More>>

Amended Code of Ethics
International Law Office, September 23, 2009
After carrying out a public consultation, and in view of a large number of consumer complaints, the National Telecommunications and Post Commission, Greece decided to amend the code of ethics for the provision of multimedia information services.<<More>>

Reforms Welcomed – Electricity Market
Europa Press Releases, September 15, 2009
Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes and Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs have welcomed the reforms proposed by the French Government concerning the electricity market and consider that the proposals could constitute a step towards the effective opening-up of the market to competition.  <<More>>

Regulator to Reduce MTRs
Europa Press Releases, September 14, 2009
The European Commission has, for a second time, asked the Czech telecoms regulator, Český telekomunikační úřad (ČTÚ) to further reduce mobile termination rates (MTRs) in the Czech Republic. MTRs are the wholesale charges which mobile operators charge other operators for connecting calls on their networks.<<More>>

Ofcom Deregulates Telecoms Market
Ofcom.org.uk, September 15, 2009
Ofcom has removed one of the last pieces of regulation in the retail fixed-line telephone market. This will have the effect of allowing BT to offer discounted bundles of services including traditional fixed-line calls for the first time. <<More>>

Portals must Open for Private Sellers
Norwegian Competition Authority, September 10, 2009

The Norwegian Ministry of Government Administration and Reform has established a regulation that requires internet portals to provide anyone access to residential property advertisements on non-discriminatory conditions.  <<More>>

Massive Penalties for Call Centre Failures
International Law Office, September 10, 2009
Mobile service carriers are facing a series of multimillion-real actions for damages filed by the Public Ministry of Brazil and consumer protection agencies on the grounds of failures in the services provided to their customers via the customer service centres. <<More>>

Airlines Hit in the Pockets
SME Times, September 07, 2009

A flurry of plane crashes across the world in 2009 will find its echo in the domestic aviation insurance premium rates in the form of a 25-40 percent hike. Meanwhile, the aviation insurance segment in India is set to boom with around 450 aircraft valued around Rs 49,200 crore to be added to existing fleet over the next five years. <<More>>

Proposed Code of Conduct for Gas Sector
Global Energy Regulation, September 07, 2009

Energy regulator CREG published a new proposal for a royal decree on the “code of good conduct” governing access to the gas transport network, storage sites and LNG facilities.  <<More>>

Lack of Competition in Electricity & Gas Sector
Global Energy Regulation, September 07, 2009

Germany’s Monopoly Commission (MC), an independent body advising the government, published its second report on the electricity and gas markets, as required by the Energy Law.  <<More>>

Increase in Retail Tariffs
Global Energy Regulation, September 07, 2009

On August 15, 2009 electricity retail tariffs in France increased by 1.9 percent for household customers and by 2.3 percent on average (for households and companies). The tariff structure also changed to take account of the new network tariffs.  <<More>>

More Efficient Retail Gas Markets
Global Energy Regulation, September 07, 2009

ACCC has authorised market arrangements that promote more competitive and efficient retail gas markets. The Retail Energy Market Company (REMCo) is required to publish rules which govern the operation and conduct of the South Australian and Western Australian retail gas markets.  <<More>>

Lock-In Periods Reintroduced
International Law Office, September 02, 2009

The Department of Telecommunications, India has issued guidelines introducing unified access service (UAS) licences, which permit licensee companies to provide fixed-line services, as well as cellular services, under the same licence. UAS licences are also technology neutral. <<More>>

Bad Bank Act
International Law Office, September 02, 2009
The act provides the opportunity for short-term relief of bank balance sheets, thus promoting lending to the real economy. The act is targeted at financial institutions, financial holding companies, their subsidiaries in Germany and abroad and special purpose companies. <<More>>

Quicker and Easier Switching
International Law Office, September 02, 2009
The new resolution requires operators to reduce migration times to 10 calendar days from November 01, 2009 and to five calendar days from March 01, 2010, irrespective of the service in question. As a result, all operators' migration times should be in line with those of Telecom Italia by March 01, 2010. <<More>>