“The clock stopped for regulators in the last century”

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The executive president of Telefónica, José María Álvarez-Pallete, has once again warned that the current legal framework is not adapted to the new reality generated by the unstoppable advance of digitization and has accused regulators of still being “stuck in the past”.

“This is the time when we have to self-regulate. The clock stopped for regulators in the last century”Álvarez-Pallete stressed during his speech at an informative breakfast organized by the Spanish Confederation of Managers and Executives (CEDE).

The president of Telefónica has pointed out that the current rules are not designed for a world in which it is increasingly difficult to distinguish the borders between the physical and the digital world and in which data has become a new factor of production in the economy.

Thus, he underlined that this scenario has led to right now “there is no level playing field” between traditional market players and native digital companies and has stressed that this is a problem common to all sectors.

In this sense, he has criticized the regulators because “They fail to understand the magnitude of what is happening” and has remarked that not only are the rules of competition poorly defined, but also those that regulate the “coexistence” between companies.

Asked specifically about the recent statements of theto President of the National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC), Cani Fernández, in which she advocates that traditional and new telecommunications operators, such as WhatsApp, subject to “equivalent” standards, Álvarez-Pallete has been forceful in his response: “They are taking time.”

In this sense, he underlined that in Telefónica they do not ask that the new market players be regulated. “If they are not regulated and compete in the same way as me, let them deregulate me, because if we are not competing in unequal opportunities,” she explained.

In this regard, he stressed that the problem is based on the fact that the very definition of the relevant markets is “badly done”since, for example, it competes not only with Orange, Vodafone, MásMóvil and the MVNOs to provide voice communications services, but also with the new digital companies.

Thus, he added that the same is true of television services, where their competition today is not only other operators, but also streaming platforms. transmission like Netflix or Disney+, and these are not defined in market shares.

“The relevant markets are poorly defined and the result of this should be deregulation. I’m not asking to regulate them, I am asking that they let us compete on equal terms“, it is finished.