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Mobile phone operators' setback in trying to buck EU rules

Mobile phone operators' setback in trying to buck EU rules
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A price cap on international mobile phone calls within the European Union, imposed by the European Commission is justified, says the EU’s Court of Justice.

The advisory opinion on so-called “roaming” charges reinforces the EU authority’s action in European consumers’ interest, a Commission spokesman said.

“The EU was entitled in particular to charge limits on the prices impose by mobile operators to customers who are roaming, and this was justified in the interest of the EU single market.”

The caps are eleven eurocents for a roamed text message, fifteen cents for receiving a cross-border call and 39 cents to make one.

A senior commissioner said EU citizens travelling in Europe and using their mobiles should not pay excessive rates.

The court was asked for an opinion by the High Court in England and Wales, where Vodafone, Telefonica O2, T-Mobile and Orange had argued that the commission had overstepped its powers.

The court said that when the regulation was adopted, the average retail price for a roaming call in the EU was more than five times the cost of providing the service.

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