A Review of the WTO Regime for Telecommunications Services

THE WORLD TRADE ORGANISATION AND TRADE IN SERVICES, pp. 319-379, K. Alexander & M. Andenas, eds., Martinus Nijhoff, 2008

62 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2012

See all articles by Marco Bronckers

Marco Bronckers

Leiden University - Leiden Law School

Pierre Larouche

Université de Montréal; Center on Regulation in Europe (CERRE)

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

The WTO Telecommunications Agreement of 1997 marked a new beginning in international regulation. For a number of significant players, like the EU and the United States, the Agreement essentially consolidated at the international level the liberalization movement to which they were already committed nationally. Other, notably developing, countries claimed long transitional periods or significant exceptions for their liberalization commitments. Furthermore, the so-called Reference Paper, containing the outline of competition law principles, represents a useful recognition that the liberalization of monopoly sectors has to be accompanied by additional regulatory and competition law commitments,

It will nevertheless take a sustained effort to further develop a suitable legal framework that will deliver the full benefits of the ongoing telecommunications revolution. Furthermore, new issues like convergence and electronic commerce will also force the current arrangements to be reconsidered and improved. The obligations outlined in the Reference Paper will have to be strengthened as well, although the WTO's dispute settlement report in the Telmex case of April 2004 demonstrates that these obligations can already bite. The Reference Paper demonstrates to the WTO membership the additional commitments that are necessary to effectively liberalize other regulated service industries such as the post, energy and air transport.

Keywords: liberalization of telecommunications services, WTO, GATS, competition law in the WTO, Telemex case, Reference Paper on telecommunications services

JEL Classification: K21, L86

Suggested Citation

Bronckers, Marco and Larouche, Pierre, A Review of the WTO Regime for Telecommunications Services (2008). THE WORLD TRADE ORGANISATION AND TRADE IN SERVICES, pp. 319-379, K. Alexander & M. Andenas, eds., Martinus Nijhoff, 2008 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1995658

Marco Bronckers (Contact Author)

Leiden University - Leiden Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 9520
2300 RA Leiden, NL-2300RA
Netherlands

Pierre Larouche

Université de Montréal ( email )

Montreal, Quebec H3T 1B9
Canada

Center on Regulation in Europe (CERRE) ( email )

Rue de l'Industrie 42
Brussels, 1040
Belgium

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