The Roaming Regulation has divided opinion as to whether the regulation is a necessary step to intervene in what some see as an uncompetitive market or whether price regulation is simply wrong either on principle or because it could stifle investment and innovation.
Some commentators view market intervention and price caps on voice roaming as a success for consumers arguing that prices were lowered and now support Commissioner Reding ’s proposal to extend the regulation to SMS and data roaming. However, other commentators believe that the short term reduction in prices have led to operators clustering underneath the price caps thus reducing competition and further reduction in prices. Furthermore, many believe that such regulation has and will reduce a profitable part of the overall telecoms business model in this innovation hungry industry, particularly in light of new technologies as Wifi, Wimax, VoIP and Instant Messaging which will challenge existing voice and SMS roaming services.
What should free market liberals make of this ? Should they support price regulation to stimulate the market or should we see this regulation as interfering in the operation of the market ? Come along and join in the debate.
The speakers will be :
In favour of the regulation : Alexander Graf Lambsdorff MEP
Against the regulation : Valentin Petkanchin, Institut économique Molinari
ALEXANDER GRAF LAMBSDORFF
Freie Demokratische Partei - Die Liberalen
Conservative MEP for London