Thursday 29 September 2016

Rivals call for zero tolerance of "equivalence" issues at Eir

Published 29/05/2016 | 02:30

'Eir is dominant in the wholesale telecoms market and is required to provide an equal playing field for the companies who use its services on a wholesale basis.'
'Eir is dominant in the wholesale telecoms market and is required to provide an equal playing field for the companies who use its services on a wholesale basis.'

A group representing telecommunications companies such as BT and Sky has claimed there should be a "zero tolerance" approach following new disclosures on practices at Eir that could disadvantage its competitors.

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Industry body ALTO (Alternative Operators in the Communications Market) has called on telecoms regulator ComReg to take action following the release of a new report on practices at Eir's wholesale division which could give an advantage to its retail arm over companies such as BT, Sky and Vodafone. Eir is dominant in the wholesale telecoms market and is required to provide an equal playing field for the companies who use its services on a wholesale basis.

The report said that with the majority of issues now closed, "the expectation is that any new equivalence issues will be in single digits going forward for each reporting period".

A spokesperson for Eir added that the report in question was a voluntary one and that Eir has been extremely transparent throughout the process.

A zero-tolerance policy should be the aim, according to ALTO, which is calling on ComReg to "immediately expedite its review of Eir with a view to mandating functional separation of the company, and to take definitive, and if necessary court-based compliance action in light of further and new disclosures from Eir".

"The disclosures have the effect of limiting consumer and business user choice, as well as competition in the market for telecoms services in Ireland" a spokesperson for ALTO said.

ComReg recently appointed two consulting groups in a review of examine Eir's dominant position in the wholesale market. KPMG will review Eir's governance structure and Cartesian Limited will review the day-to-day risk management of the company's regulatory obligations.

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