Day: June 24, 2019

Winter is Coming for shows like Game of Thrones in Brazil

Winter has not just started in the southern hemisphere but it might also start soon for millions of Brazilian TV viewers. One piece of regulation might soon be responsible for shows such as Game of Thrones and sports events such as the UEFA Champions League disappearing from our TV screens. If politics don’t act quickly we might jeopardize Brazil’s long-term competitiveness in digital services.

Digital, media, and telecommunications markets converge all over the world. There is no clear barrier anymore between these sectors, but a unique converged market has formed. Players in this market are more diversified and bigger in market size than previously and the competition is completely different from the past.  

New operators are growing thanks to mergers and regulators have to have a different approach on that point.

The Brazilian example, in contrast, shows that regulation is holding the digital single market back, and significantly limiting the further development of the “market of the future”, as the digital market is often labeled.

As in other sectors of the economy, Brazil has to have the target to create a single digital market, in which operators can integrate content and channels in order to provide better and more comprehensive media services to their customers. This very needed necessity is currently legally not possible in Brazil.

In particular one piece of legislation from  2011 mergers between telecommunications companies and audiovisual content distribution and licensing companies in the PayTV market.

This article is considered anachronistic even by the President of Brazil’s telecommunications regulator ANATEL “because it is going against the convergence that it is developing in the new digital ecosystem”.

The regulation is not only affecting an important opportunity for Brazil, that being the merger between AT&T and Time Warner, but it also affects the possibility of the country to continue to attract investors, leading to a faster and development of the digital and more services provided to consumers.

A 21st century digital ecosystem is considered a market where all the players of the digital arena are able to have  fair competition, thanks also at the development of the 4G and 5G connections.

The Brazilian mobile data market is developing very well and 4G technology is widely adopted. This helps to facilitate the change of the market with more than 130 million users of mobile high speed internet connections

The arrival of 5G in the next few years will ignite an even faster  vertical integration between different sectors as it was told by Leonardo de Morais, President of ANATEL.

It is an anachronistic idea that the market could be segmented by subcategories such as phone calls, advertisement, or content as in the past.  The role of the authorities has to change due to this new reality. Fair competition has to be intended not only in a classic view, but also between operators in different sectors that are now competing directly: a classical example is competition between Over the Top (as Amazon Video or Netflix) and PayTV providers.

Being attractive to foreign investments, is highly important in a global industry such as  the digital and media markets, and a key element for the success of the development of new services for consumers.

A 21st century digital ecosystem in Brazil is only possible if the ban of vertical integration is repealed. Otherwise consumers will lose by either having less TV channels or less content available on PayTV.

By Fred Roeder, Managing Director of the Consumer Choice Center, Professor Andrea Giuricin, and Andre Freo Gerente de Operações of CESCO. Both have published a policy note on this issue as well that can be found at www.chegadebarreiras.org

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Ένας επιπλέον «αεροπορικός» φόρος θα έπληττε τις κοινωνικά ευάλωτες τάξεις

Ένας ευρωπαϊκός αεροπορικός φόρος στους επιβάτες, θα έπληττε την κινητικότητα των πιο «κοινωνικά ευάλωτων» καταναλωτών, υποστηρίζει, το «Τhe Consumer Choice Center», καθώς εναντιώνεται στις προτάσεις της Ολλανδίας για φόρο στα εισιτήρια, στα 7 ευρώ στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση.

Οι υπουργοί της ΕΕ πέρασαν δύο ημέρες συζητώντας προτάσεις για περιβαλλοντικό φόρο επί των αερομεταφορών σε συνάντηση την περασμένη εβδομάδα. Στόχος τους είναι να παρουσιάσουν ένα νέο φορολογικό σχέδιο για τη νέα Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή το φθινόπωρο.

Σκοπός είναι να περιοριστούν οι πτήσεις προκειμένου να μειωθούν οι εκπομπές του διοξειδίου  του άνθρακα.

Ο Fred Roeder, διευθύνων σύμβουλος του,The Consumer Choice Center, δήλωσε:

«Τα αεροπορικά ταξίδια είναι σημαντικά φθηνότερα τις τελευταίες δεκαετίες. Αυτό έχει εκδημοκρατίσει τις μεταφορές, στο βαθμό που οι καταναλωτές χαμηλού εισοδήματος έχουν σχεδόν την ίδια ικανότητα να ταξιδεύουν στο εξωτερικό ως μισθωτοί μεσαίας τάξης, αλλά και υψηλής.

Η Ολλανδία πρότεινει μια νέα εισφορά ύψους 7 ευρώ ανά επιβάτη και ανά τμήμα πτήσης στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση.

«Αυτό μπορεί να μην είναι μεγάλο ποσό σε ορισμένες βόρειες χώρες όπως τη Σουηδία ,αλλά στην Κεντρική και Ανατολική Ευρώπη, αυτό θα αποτελούσε σημαντική αύξηση των τιμών».


«Τα νησιωτικά κράτη όπως η Μάλτα, η Κύπρος και τμήματα της Ισπανίας και της Ελλάδας θα έχουν σοβαρό αντίκτυπο στην οικονομία τους.

Ο Roeder δήλωσε: «Υπάρχουν περιβαλλοντικές προκλήσεις που πρέπει να ξεπεραστούν, αλλά δεν μπορούν να καταπολεμηθούν απλά λέγοντας στους καταναλωτές να μένουν στο σπίτι τους. Τα νέα μοντέλα αεροσκαφών με πιο αποδοτικούς κινητήρες θα είναι διαθέσιμα τα επόμενα χρόνια.

Τέλος, αναφέρεται ότι η Iata αναφέρει ότι οι κυβερνήσεις θα πρέπει να ενθαρρύνουν τις νέες τεχνολογίες και τα αειφόρα καύσιμα για την αεροπορία, προκειμένου να μειώσουν τις εκπομπές διοξειδίου του άνθρακα στους αερομεταφορές, αντί να επιβάλλουν περιβαλλοντικούς φόρους.

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EU-wide air tax would ‘hit mobility of the socially vulnerable’

An EU-wide passenger tax would hit the mobility of the most “socially vulnerable” consumers, it is being claimed.

Advocacy group The Consumer Choice Center attacked proposals put forward by the Netherlands for €7 ticket tax.

EU ministers spent two days debating proposals for an environmental tax on aviation at a meeting last week.

They aim to present an aviation tax plan to the new European Commission this autumn.

The goal is to curb flights in order to reduce carbon emissions.

Fred Roeder, managing director of the Consumer Choice Center, said: “Air travel has got considerably cheaper throughout the past decades. This has democratised transportation, to the extent that low-income consumers have nearly the same ability to travel abroad as middle-class or high-income earners.

“The Netherlands has suggested a new levy of €7 per passenger per flight segment in the European Union.

“This might not be a lot in some northern countries such as Sweden – which supports the proposal – but in central and eastern Europe, this would constitute a considerable price increase.”

He added: “Other models, such as taxing fuel, would also result in higher ticket prices.

“No matter if the EU ends up with taxing passengers directly or taxing them indirectly through taxes on jet fuel, it will hurt mobility for the most socially vulnerable Europeans.

“Island nations such as Malta, Cyprus, and parts of Spain and Greece will also be hurt significantly as both tourism and commerce will get more expensive.”

Roeder said: “There are environmental challenges to overcome, but they cannot be combated by simply telling consumers to stay home. New aircraft models with more efficient engines will become available in the coming years. Rushing policy decisions won’t get us anywhere.”

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