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Europe Threatens Inquiry Into Phone and Cable Fees

Wed, 12/01/2010 - 8:28am
New York Times

BERLIN — The European Union’s telecommunications commissioner on Tuesday threatened to crack down on member countries that allow powerful former telephone monopolies to charge steep fees that raise costs to consumers.

Neelie Kroes, the commissioner who oversees telecommunications, said she was prepared to open an investigation should some of the 27 national regulators ignore guidelines, which were intended to lower the costs imposed by the monopolies on rivals who need access to national telecom lines.

Those charges add 5.55 euros, or $7.32, a month to consumer phone bills in Poland, to 17.68 euros, or $23.32, a month in Ireland, according to the European Commission.

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