EU to plot telecom reforms this year - FT

LONDON Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:22pm GMT

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LONDON (Reuters) - The European Union will set out reforms for a pan-European telecommunications market this year to support competition and investment in the sector, the bloc's telecoms chief, Neelie Kroes, said in an interview with the Financial Times.

"We're working on a range of measures to create common and stable conditions across the EU for telecoms competition, investment and growth, which should also make cross-border consolidation more attractive," the European commissioner for digital agenda said in comments published on the paper's website on Sunday.

Kroes said she was not seeking a single regulator, but greater cooperation between the European Commission and national regulators, as well as asset-sharing between companies to promote investment.

The comments followed a report in the Financial Times on Wednesday that EU competition chief Joaquin Almunia had met with the heads of Europe's big telecoms groups to discuss a pan-European infrastructure network.

However, industry sources later played down the idea of a single network, saying the November meeting had focussed on whether the large number of operators could be consolidated through takeovers.

Executives from Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE), France Telecom FTE.PA, Telecom Italia (TLIT.MI), Telefonica (TEF.MC), KPN (KPN.AS) and Belgacom (BCOM.BR) attended the meeting with Almunia.

(Reporting by Rosalba O'Brien; Editing by Dale Hudson)

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