EC won't block France Tel, Google deal

The European Commission would not block a proposed commercial tie up between Google and France Telecom, provided the deal is not anti-competitive.
 
A spokeswoman told Telecoms Europe.net the Commission is unable to comment on specific commercial deals between firms, but is committed to promoting an open internet and innovative new business models on the proviso they don’t breach its competition rules.
 
Several news agencies report the telco and Google are close to agreeing a deal to work together to ease the impact of services including YouTube on the carrier’s fixed and mobile networks. While a financial contribution was initially mooted, Bloomberg states the pair are now mulling a technical collaboration to ease network congestion – a move that would not be subject to EC rules, according to the spokeswoman.
 
“No Commission clearance is required under either telecoms or competition rules,” she told TE.net.
 
The technical tie-up would examine employing under-used spectrum and placing more emphasis on mobile handsets as storage devices to ease the pressure of data traffic that France Telecom chief Stephane Richard says is growing at a rate of 5% a week in Paris alone, Bloomberg notes.

European telcos have previously mooted the idea of charging content firms including Google and Apple for the raft of data traffic their services offer, however such moves would run contrary to the EC’s goal of providing open Web access to all citizens.

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