Dominance in the telecommunications sector: An overview of EU and national case law

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In 2013, we already pointed to the rapid evolution of this sector as one of its main features (actually, it was mentioned in the -rst place). Almost ten years later, the telecoms sector has signi-cantly changed as a consequence of the fundamental evolution of the technology and the digitalization of our lives, leading to a massive use of mobile data everywhere and the convergence of media and products. The COVID-19 pandemic has further reinforced the signi-cance of telecoms, when social relationships were replaced by videocalls and ecommerce dominated economic transactions as citizens were forced to stay at home. The deployment of 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) are undoubtedly called to further influence the development of this sector.

On the other hand, there is a progressive separation between infrastructure, on the one hand, and services, on the other, each with new and several competitors. As regards infrastructure, players such as Vantage, Cellnex, American Tower, or independent wholesalers such as Onivia, are entering the market and even replacing traditional players.

In services, there is an increasing competition between operators offering different qualities and prices, from low-cost to premium. In these circumstances, the enforcement of article 102 TFEU or the corresponding national provisions in the telecoms sector has been limited, both at European and national level.