EU hits watchdogs for failed crackdown on high roaming fees

The European Commission has criticized French and other telephone regulators for their failure to crackdown on possible excessive charges for mobile phone roaming, a Dow Jones report said.


The report quoted EU spokesman Martin Semayr as saying that he was particularly 'surprised' by the French response to the EU's actions because French regulators are 'in a position to resolve this important question' by themselves.


The EU has been investigating mobile phone companies in Europe for price-fixing on 'roaming,' or using other operators' networks, for more than a decade, the report said.


The Dow Jones report said in 2001, regulators raided nine mobile phone companies in the UK and Germany searching for evidence. Its stated aim was to bring down roaming charges, which some suspect could be up to 500% above charges for regular telephone calls, the report said.


The EU also said national regulators should be more "aggressive" in cracking down mobile firms charging excessive fees, the report said.