Competition: Aerials

Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered am ar 9 Gorffennaf 2009.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Fabian Hamilton Fabian Hamilton Llafur, Leeds North East

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what provisions of competition law apply to mobile telephone companies.

Photo of Ian Lucas Ian Lucas Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) (Business and Regulatory Reform)

Ofcom is the independent regulator for the UK communications industries, including telecommunications. Sectoral regulation applies, in addition to the application of UK and European competition law, which applies to mobile telephone companies as it does to all undertakings, and the application of UK consumer law.

Chapter 9 of Ofcom's Publication "Mobile citizens, mobile consumers" sets out an overview of the most significant forms of regulation in place that effect the mobile sector and which can be found at:

http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/msa08/msa.pdf

The most significant Acts that relate to Ofcom's work are:

Communications Act 2003. This Act gives effect to much of the regulatory framework for electronic communications that has been established by the European Commission across the European Union.

Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006. This Act, which consolidated a number of earlier pieces of legislation, sets out the regime for licensing the right to use spectrum, and empowers Ofcom to take action to prevent unlicensed use of spectrum;

Competition Act 1998. This sets out the UK's basic competition law. Ofcom is one of a number of concurrent regulators empowered to enforce competition law. Ofcom, as a concurrent regulator of the communications sector, also has powers to apply and enforce articles 81 and 82 of the EC treaty in competition matters where they may affect trade between member states; and

Enterprise Act 2002. Like the Competition Act, this Act forms part of the UK's competition law regime, providing the mechanism for Ofcom (and other regulators) to refer matters to the Competition Commission. It also provides the framework for Ofcom (and other regulators) to enforce various UK laws to protect consumers, and for the assessment of mergers and acquisitions.

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