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The Telenor Case: The (In)compatibility of Zero-rating with the Net Neutrality Principle (C-807/18 and C-39/19 Telenor Magyarország)

Amaryllis Müller, Koo Asakura


Keywords: net neutrality, zero-rating, telecommunications, antitrust, European Court of Justice

Joined Cases C-807/18 and C-39/19 Telenor Magyarország Zrt. v Nemzeti Média- és Hírközlési Hatóság Elnöke, Judgment of the Court of Justice (Grand Chamber) of 15 September 2020
In this judgment, the European Court of Justice maintains a broad interpretation of the net neutrality principle enshrined in Regulation 2015/2120, in line with the EU’s policy goal of stimulating digital innovation by guaranteeing open internet access. While the judgment provides some necessary clarity on the incompatibility with the net neutrality principle of certain zero-rating products that involve throttling of data traffic, the Court leaves several key questions unanswered as it does not rule on zero-rating practices that are open to all applications of a particular category and do not involve blocking or slowing down of traffic.

Amaryllis Müller is a Principal Associate in Freshfields’ antitrust group, based in Brussels, Koo Asakura is an Associate in Freshfields’ antitrust group, based in London. For correspondence: <> and <>.


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