Dutch court overturns Open Cable

January 30, 2014 09.05 Europe/London By Robert Briel

judgement hammerDutch law can not force cable operators to offer their analogue TV bouquet to third parties.

The court in The Hague decided in two cases which Ziggo and UPC had filed against the State that such a provision in the law contravenes European regulation..

In addition, the court ruled that the forced sale does not create more competition on the Dutch cable market.

The court has declared with this statement that Article 6.14a of the Media Act, which authorises the resale, is void.

The same applies to Article 6a.21a of the Telecommunications Act, which authorises the Authority Consumers and Market (ACM) for companies with a large market share to be required to provide access to smaller businesses.

The decision by the court puts an end to uncertainty about the Dutch Open Cable ruling, which was supposed to give third parties access to the analogue TV product in order to better compete with cable.

Originally, there were two parties interested in gaining access to analogue signals, independent YouCa and Tele2. With the continuing digitization of the TV distribution, access to analog TV signals became less attractive.