EU Seeks to Fine 4 States for Missing Telecom-Rules Deadline

Poland, Belgium, Slovenia and Portugal may face daily fines for missing a deadline to introduce telecommunications rules, the European Commission said.

Regulators today asked the EU’s Court of Justice to impose daily penalties, including more than 112,000 euros ($139,000) on Poland, for not drafting rules to open up phone and Internet markets before a May 2011 deadline.

While the Netherlands was also included on an EU statement listing countries facing court action, EU spokesman Ryan Heath said the Dutch government promised to send the EU details of its new telecommunications legislation which would avoid an EU lawsuit.

“The Dutch government gave their commitment” to EU Telecommunications Commissioner Neelie Kroes “last night that their legislation would be fully notified by tomorrow,” Heath said in an e-mailed statement.

Regulatory authorities in the EU’s 27 member nations last year had to introduce new requirements that included privacy rules and measures to allow customers to switch mobile operators within a day. The Brussels-based commission’s request for fines shows it “is serious about creating a single market in telecoms,” Heath said.

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