Answer given by Mr Almunia on behalf of the Commission
The Commission is not aware of any potential national price cartels in the telecommunications sector other than those concerned by the Dutch investigation, which is at an early stage.
Based on the currently available information the Commission has no grounds to carry out an EU‑wide investigation into price cartels concerning voice, SMS and data transfer services. Naturally, such an investigation can be initiated at any time if needed, should there be indications of illicit market behaviour.
In this regard, the Commission would however like to point out that national cartel investigations such as the Dutch investigation referred to by the Honourable Members should not be automatically linked to the issue of EU‑wide roaming, as they may relate to purely national market conditions.
With regard to the question of the reasonableness of the proposed price caps for roaming those cannot be seen in isolation from the structural measures proposed at the same time by the Commission. The Commission believes that its proposal presents a comprehensive solution to the lack of competition in the roaming market. In this regard the Commission would like to refer the Honourable Members to the Commission's reply to Question E‑008465/2011(1).