List of potentially anti-competitive zero-rated apps launched by EU’s incumbent telcos
On Gigaom: Forget fast lanes. The real threat for net-neutrality is zero-rated content
Incumbent European telcos are favouring their own or their OTT partners’ messaging, communication, music streaming, video streaming, mobileTV, cloud storage applications by zero-rating the generated volume i.e. volume generated by these applications does not deplete the end-user’s open internet gigabyte volume allowance. Zero-rating is essentially blunt potentially anti-competitive price discrimination. It favours telcos’ own, or their partners', applications and services thereby placing those offered by other competitors at a competitive disadvantage. In markets where big telcos face no challengers, such as Germany, and where the gigabyte prices for open mobile internet access are prohibitively expensive, price discrimination in favour of telcos’ own applications could be a game changer.
Will consumers select a 3rd party mobile video streaming application if they must pay telcos hundreds of euros for the generated data traffic under their open mobile internet access subscriptions? Or simply ditch 3rd parties such as Netflix for the telco’s own video streaming applications were all the data generated is free of charge (volume is zero-rated)?
In this analysis we have compiled a list of European incumbent telcos that are zero-rating their own or their OTT partner applications and services. For each case we present the telco name, the application or service that is zero-rated, the main terms of zero-rating and the name of their OTT partner who enjoys the discriminatory treatment. Furthermore, for bandwidth intensive zero-rated video streaming applications we made an estimation for the monthly end-user cost of watching daily one hour of video over the top using their open mobile internet access gigabyte retail prices versus the cost (zero...) of doing the same over a zero-rate telco application. So far we have identified 8 incumbent telcos zero-rating applications in 9 member state markets. The antitrust authority of the European Commission has already gained privileged access to all the information and analysis contained below.
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