EU Considers Granting Telecoms' Greatest Hopes and Dreams
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Top European Union officials raised the possibility last year of making major streaming operators like Netflix Inc. and YouTube help pay for 5G and fiber infrastructure. Telcos had been pushing for such a move for over a decade.
The EU’s executive arm is expected to publish a request for feedback on the idea this month, the first step toward a formal proposal. When a draft of this consultation was circulated around Brussels recently, telcos read it with glee — and tech companies with horror. The consensus was that the EU is no longer asking whether it will do something but rather, how.
Last week brought another cause for celebration, at least for the bankers who work with the likes of Deutsche Telekom AG and Vodafone Group Plc. Commissioner Thierry Breton said the EU should more closely consider cross-border mergers, which could create “a true single market for telecoms” in Europe. Telcos, again, have been lobbying for consolidation for a long time.