The telecommunications market has been fundamentally redesigned, with the introduction of a series of supra-national interventions, which have brought about a change to its original character. Whereas, in the past, supply was concentrated in the hands of a single public operator, it is now diffused, and mainly in the private sector. In addition, the market is no longer monopolistic, but is now oriented towards regulated competition.
With the liberalisation and privatisation of the markets, former monopolists and new entrants are now equally entitled to access and exit the market. However, they continue to differ in their actual chances of gaining the upper hand in competition. In effect, the former monopolists have maintained their position of advantage, both because of their prior history and their position as vertically integrated operators, being present in the wholesale market as network managers.
As providers of services on the retail markets, it is to them that new entrants (and new competitors) must apply to negotiate the network input necessary for the provision of electronic communications services to the end user.
These characteristics are common to newly liberalised network markets. The markets see the former monopolists in the role of vertically integrated operators and networks as essential facilities. The new markets require the intervention of an asymmetrical discipline, which would level the playing field, aligning the new entries with the incumbent and leaving the task of selecting the best offer at open competition...