Shifting Merger Policy in Mobile Telecoms – a Foreshadowing of the Emergence of the Common European Electronic Communications Market?

The paper presents the evolving approach of the European Commission on mobile telecoms mergers. In recent years, various mobile telecoms mergers were reviewed and an explicit alteration in EC’s decision-making can be noticed, despite no changes to the merger regulation. The paper conducts a case-by-case analysis of key aspects of these decisions in order to establish insight into the EC’s thinking in view of future mergers.
Moreover, it tries to ascertain how does the new practice fit into the process of creating the Common European Electronic Communications Market and how does the new policy include the transnational aspects of the European market. Is it encouraging consolidation, or hampering the emergence of European champions?
Finally, the paper elaborates on the apparent use of merger law as tool for increasing competition and regulating markets, similar to sector-specific regulations, while conventionally it should be used to protect competition already present in a given market.