The Corner

The Consumer’s Friend? Not So Much

Here’s a little something about the EU’s digital commissioner, Günther Oettinger, an official who is seemingly part of the EU’s ‘get Google’ gang.

Acting Man (and, no, notwithstanding his headline, I wouldn’t describe the EU as the EUSSR) noticed this item in the Austrian press the other day:

“EU Digital Commissioner Günther Oettinger wants to restrict the way in which customers can change their Internet provider. In an interview with the Stuttgarter Zeitung he said that the profitability of the investments of providers in network expansion will thereby be increased.

 “I’m not talking about monopolies lasting forever, but for several years, during which you one will have planning security as an investor. Similar exemptions also exist for energy networks,” said Oettinger. Providers often shy away from investments because customers might switch to another provider. Companies that meet the requirements with respect to yardsticks such as data security, speed and capacity are to receive EU funding.

 Acting Man adds:

It is really hard to believe that he actually said the above, but apparently it is true. Just to get this straight: companies that are in danger of losing their customers to better and cheaper competitors will henceforth be protected by the EU, which will force their customers to stay with them. Not only that, these companies will get tax payer-funded subsidies as well!

The original report (in German) is here.

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