Effectively advocating on behalf of telecom operators
The Bulgarian telecom regulator, the Communications Regulation Commission (CRC), determined mobile termination rates in an arbitrary and disproportionate way. Vivacom, the former telecom monopolist, sought Alber & Geiger’s help in tackling the CRC. Its regulatory influence in Bulgaria was significant. The challenge was compounded by the limited availability of effective domestic tools to review potentially arbitrary or unfair decisions. Concurrently the firm had been tasked with addressing the problem of illegal cables in Bulgaria. The Commission’s position was that this issue ought to be handled solely at national level. However, the Bulgarian state had been very hands off with respect to the deteriorating situation of illegal cables.
Addressing national telecoms regulations through EU intervention
The strategy adopted, intended to show how broad ranging Treaty obligations should be translated into government actions. It had a strong EU public law and policy element, with consumer protection at the forefront. It brought EU law into a practical abstraction to suggest how its underlying values might be manifested in the public decision-making in Bulgaria. It helped Bulgaria understand and implement its EU law obligations. It enhanced the notions of fairness and proportionality in the civic realm. It used sophisticated fact-finding and law and economics analysis, to outline where subsidiarity pointed to, regarding the illegal cables.