NERA Advises T-Mobile CZ in the Commission’s Investigation AT.40305—Network Sharing in Czechia

NERA Economic Consulting is pleased to have advised T-Mobile CZ during the European Commission’s investigation on the effects of the network sharing agreements (NSAs) between O2 CZ, CETIN, and T-Mobile CZ in Czechia (Czech Republic).

The Situation

On 25 October 2016, the Commission opened a formal investigation under Article 101 TFEU to examine whether two NSAs between O2 CZ, CETIN, and T-Mobile in Czechia—covering 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE technology—restrict competition. The investigation resulted in the issuance of a Statement of Objections (SO) on 7 August 2019, in which the Commission came to the preliminary conclusion that the NSAs limit the incentives of the mobile network operators to invest in their network infrastructure, thereby harming innovation and restricting competition on the retail and wholesale markets for mobile telecommunication services in the Czech Republic.

NERA’s Role

T-Mobile CZ retained NERA to assist them and their legal counsel Jones Day by assessing the competitive effects of the two NSAs. The NERA team empirically quantified the effects of the NSAs by conducting four different types of economic analysis. The work included an assessment of the impact of the NSAs on network quality and prices, as well as the efficiencies generated by the NSAs. NERA presented the results of its analyses to the Commission in an oral hearing in September 2020.

The Result

On 11 July 2022, the European Commission accepted the voluntary commitments and closed its long-running investigation without any penalties or unwinding of the network.

For more details, please find the Commission’s press release here.