(Adds details, background)
AMSTERDAM Oct 11 A Dutch regulator said on
Tuesday it would investigate mobile carrier T-Mobile's
new music service in the Netherlands to check it does
not unfairly disadvantage competing services.
The Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) said in a
statement it would examine the "Music Freedom" service, which
provides streaming music without charging for mobile data use, a
practice called zero-rating.
The European Union agreed its first ever net neutrality
rules last year, requiring operators to treat all Internet
traffic equally. The law neither explicitly allows zero-rating -
exempting certain applications from a customer's data allowance
- nor forbids it.
The Netherlands is a staunch opponent of zero-rating and
consumer groups are worried applications with free data will
have an unfair competitive advantage.
The ACM investigation was announced shortly after the Dutch
Senate on Tuesday passed a net neutrality law which telecoms
industry groups said took a stricter interpretation that would
go against the EU regulation.
The new Dutch law will also threaten the development of a
single EU digital market, said global mobile operator
"The implementation of the revised law will harm consumers
by stifling innovation and limiting the choice of services
available to Dutch citizens," it said in a statement.
EU telecom regulators have said they will limit the extent
to which operators may exempt some applications from a
customer's data usage. For instance, zero-rating will not be
allowed once a customer has used up all the data in their
(Reporting by Anthony Deutsch; Additional reporting by Julia
Fioretti; Editing by Adrian Croft and Mark Potter)