Wholesale Market (WM) is the TIM department, which, within the Wholesale area, operates as the point of contact for other operators (including ISPs) regarding the provision of network infrastructure and services for subsequent marketing by the said operators of electronic communication services to their own customers. WM is responsible for pre- and after-sales design, identifying requirements and drawing up offers and contracts, sales, support and billing for products/services supplied.
Organisational and administrative separation between the retail departments of TIM and WM, which is verified every year by an external body, ensures compliance with the principles of equal treatment and non-discrimination established by current regulatory provisions and in particular Resolution 152/02/CONS.
On an annual basis, WM draws up and submits the reference offers (RO) for the different regulated wholesale services. The process of approval of each reference offer involves joint examinations and reviews designed to provide the clarifications requested by AGCOM, which approves its contents and monitors the work of the WM in order to ensure that competition is safeguarded. AGCOM also acts as the guarantor and relevant authority in cases brought by Operators/ISPs and end users on regulatory matters.
In addition to the regulated services, WM offers infrastructure and transmission capacity, data access and transmission, TLC equipment hosting, outsourcing and all the added value services that allow operator networks to be “virtualised”.
Each OLO has a direct relationship with its own account manager in the sales department of WM, who receives the customer’s requests and customises the respective supply contracts in accordance with current regulatory requirements. In particular contracts relating to regulated services include clauses which provide for constant monitoring of the various stages of the supply of the service, ensuring that a number of the main indicators are subject to periodic notification to AGCOM. The interests of the client are safeguarded on a continuous basis, formalised through a process of conference calls, video conferencing and meetings involving all the Company departments concerned.
For further information regarding dialogue and involvement initiatives, caring initiatives and the actions taken to measure Alternative Operators satisfaction go to the TIM Wholesale websites wholesale.telecomitalia.com
The Italian Communications Authority (AGCOM)
TIM interacts with AGCOM in order to contribute to the administration of the regulatory process on matters considered concrete to the growth in value of the Company. For this purpose, TIM pursues an honest dialogue and ongoing discussion with the Authorities and institutions with the aim of achieving a simple, effective and symmetrical regulatory framework. Furthermore, the Group makes its own knowledge available by participating in public consultations, institutional hearings, conventions, public meetings and by presenting appropriate testimony and petitions. The constant discussions with AGCOM and the institutions ensure that TIM gathers their opinions, supplying transparent, reliable responses, and anticipates events, creating and exploiting the best opportunities for the Company. For further information on legal provisions that regulate public consultations, market analyses, fact-finding surveys and dispute resolution among operators see the sustainability section of the website www.telecomitalia.com.
TIM provides the answers required (e.g. public consultations, defensive testimony, supply of data and information of various kinds, etc.) and always ensures the completeness and reliability of the contribution.
In the case of violation proceedings, TIM presents testimony, expert reports and other defence documents, requesting a hearing by those responsible for the proceedings on the facts that are the subject of the dispute. The Company is considering whether to submit a proposal, subject to the termination of the disputed conduct, aimed at improving competitive conditions in the sector, removing the anticompetitive consequences through suitable and stable measures.
The Italian Competition and Market Authority (AGCM)
As part of the protection of competition and the consumer, the Group interacts with the Competition Authority both in a preventive way (requests for information or submission of reports) and during the proceedings it launches.
In the event of dispute proceedings being launched, the Group presents its case in the appropriate forums, in some cases presenting the Authority with undertakings that will reduce the alleged anti-competitive aspects at the centre of the proceedings. After having assessed these undertakings, the Authority may make them compulsory and end the proceedings without imposing any financial penalty.
Within the Company there are preventive controls on processes with potentially significant impacts in Antitrust terms such as, for example, the drawing-up of marketing plans, the development of contracts, conditions for the provision of telecommunication services, the development of the company’s information systems. The controls are aimed at ensuring that the operational management of the processes take into consideration these potential impacts.
In order to raise awareness and disseminate a correct approach to the subject, as a follow- up to the online training programme launched in 2010, in 2013, management were offered a specific classroom training course on the application of competition law. In 2014, training activities continued for staff belonging to the National Wholesale Services function.
Between the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016, a new edition of the online course was published, delivered and used by about 3,000 employees selected from among several Company departments (mainly technical and sales related).
From April to December 2016, approximately 3,000 employees who had already used the online course were involved in antitrust training that involved 4 hours of classroom tuition following by an assessment of the lessons learned. The classroom training was provided by internal trainers (National Antitrust department) as well as external ones.
[G4-DMA Anti-competitive Behavior] The European Commission and a number of national competition authorities (including AGCM) have expressed their approval of the efforts made by companies that decide to adopt an effective compliance programme. In Italy, growing interest in compliance programmes is confirmed by the adoption of the Linee guida sulla modalità di applicazione dei criteri di quantificazione delle sanzioni amministrative pecuniarie irrogate dall’Autorità in applicazione dell’articolo 15, comma 1, della legge n. 287/90 [guidelines on the application of the quantification criteria for administrative fines imposed by the Authority pursuant to Article 15, paragraph 1, of Law No. 287/90], in which AGCM added, as one of the attenuating circumstances to be assessed when applying sanctions for antitrust offences “the adoption of and compliance with a specific compliance programme that is suitable and in line with European and national best practice”.
For this reason, TIM decided to launch a specific antitrust compliance programme to complement the training activities already undertaken.
The activity, which began in March 2015 and ended in October 2016, involved the following stages:
- interviews with previously identified senior staff;
- checking of documents contained on the personal computers of a specific number of employees previously selected in order to perform an objective collection of such documents;
- competition training;
- writing of a Competition Code of Conduct;
- drafting of an internal procedure.
[G4-SO7] the Group’s main disputes in this respect are listed and described in Note 24 (Contingent liabilities, other information, commitments and guarantees) of the Consolidated Financial Statements, particularly in the Significant disputes and pending legal actions section.
[G4-SO8] The same Note contains a description of all the Group’s other disputes.
Regulatory initiatives regarding the access network
In December 2008, AGCOM approved the voluntary undertakings presented by TIM with Resolution 718/08/CONS to strengthen the internal and external equality of treatment between the TIM Retail Divisions and the other Operators.
Also in 2008, the Supervisory Body was set up with the task of verifying proper fulfilment of the undertakings, monitoring the equality of treatment indicators and the achievement of service quality objectives.
On November 5, 2015, the Group board approved a new equivalence model (NEM), aimed at further strengthening the efficiency and effectiveness of the processes for activating and maintaining the TIM fixed network wholesale access services supplied to its own commercial divisions and Operators, in line with the most recent regulatory guidance.
This equivalence model puts the sales divisions of TIM and the other Operators on an equal footing, ensuring full internal and external equality of treatment. On 22 December 2015, AGCOM published Resolution 623/15/CONS containing a request to TIM to make a proposal to further strengthen the equality of treatment guarantees and two proposals related to the unbundling and outsourcing of services related to provisioning and assurance.
In response to this resolution, in February 2016, TIM submitted the above proposals to AGCOM in accordance with the content of the NEM approved by the Board of Directors on 5 November 2015.
Subsequently, in May 2016, AGCOM published Resolution 122/16/CONS, launching a public consultation, which ended in mid-June 2016, on TIM’s proposals and on AGCOM’s preliminary assessments, which proved to be positive to a large extent.
The process of approval by AGCom of the measures to strengthen the equality of treatment guarantees, connected both to Resolution 623/15/CONS and Resolution 122/16/CONS, will be completed in the first few months of 2017.
In accordance with the equivalence model, since the end of 2015, the organisational structure of the company has led to Open Access and National Wholesale Services becoming hierarchically dependent on the same manager of the Wholesale Department, as described in the Services to Alternative Operators section.
Relations with the regulation and competition authorities in Brazil
TIM Brasil holds a very participative and collaborative relationship with ANATEL (Agência Nacional de Telecomunicações) and CADE (Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Econômica), the authorities which deal respectively with regulation in the telecommunication industry and with market and competition.
Along with ANATEL, TIM maintains a very cooperative and participative interaction, in order to cooperate to the evolution of the dialogue on the TLC regulatory framework that better suits the sector and the general economic growth. The main goal is to work together with ANATEL to identify the most relevant issues and reduce development barriers for the sector, especially by contributing to the development of the main regulatory chapters like spectrum management, quality of service, interconnection and network sharing, rural areas coverage, among others.
TIM Brasil also maintains a transparent and cooperative relationship with CADE. The company is responsible fornotifying the Council about mergers, acquisitions and agreements, as well as for providing in due time all necessary or requested information. In addition, TIM Brazil promotes debates and studies and it works with academic institutions in order to support research activities on competition policy in the country.