EU planning industry 'super regulator'

Officials of the EU are planning to seize regulatory control over the UK 's communications sector in a plan that government brands as "harmonization by force."

A Daily Mail report said the idea was being promoted by EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media Viviane Reding.

But regulators and senior industry figures were queueing up to scrap the proposals, the report said.

The plan suggests that national regulators should give up powers to a new European central power. It will effectively be in control of regulating all broadcasting, telecom and the Internet.

"The proposal is that Europe should be able to veto any penalty demanded by a national regulator. We are not happy with this. The impact could be enormous," Alex Blowers, international director of Ofcom, the UK communications watchdog, was quoted as saying.

Giving every national decision a further layer of regulation would not only rob local regulators of power but add a needless layer of complex red tape, Blowers claimed, according to the report.

Backing for the Ofcom approach came last week from BT CEO Ben Verwaayen, who hoped the proposal would be swiftly stopped, the report said.