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FT-ETNO Summit: Telecom companies look for room to grow

Just weeks before the new European Commission starts work, the lobbying efforts from the region’s telecommunications operators are already hard at work.

During the FT-ETNO Summit 2014 in Bruxelles senior executives of many of Europe’s largest telecoms, including Orange of France and Deutsche Telekom of Germany, called on local regulators to cut back on red tape and allow consolidation within the sector as a way to jump-start Europe’s economy.

“We desperately want growth in Europe,” said Dominique Leroy, head of the former Belgian monopoly Belgacom, at an industry conference in Brussels on Wednesday. “Industry players are willing to invest billions of euros. But we can’t do it because we can’t monetize our investments.”

The push to persuade the new European Commission, which takes over as the European Union’s new executive arm on Nov. 1, to cut back on regulation follows a lengthy stand-off between consumer groups and industry trade bodies over how to promote investment in Europe’s telecommunications sector.

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Source: The New York Times

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