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Directive (EU) 2018/1972 of the European Parliament and of the CouncilShow full title

Directive (EU) 2018/1972 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2018 establishing the European Electronic Communications Code (Recast) (Text with EEA relevance)

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ANNEX IVCRITERIA FOR ASSESSING CO-INVESTMENT OFFERS

When assessing a co-investment offer pursuant to Article 76(1), the national regulatory authority shall verify whether the following criteria have at a minimum been met. National regulatory authorities may consider additional criteria to the extent they are necessary to ensure accessibility of potential investors to the co-investment, in light of specific local conditions and market structure:

(a)

The co-investment offer shall be open to any undertaking over the lifetime of the network built under a co-investment offer on a non-discriminatory basis. The undertaking designated as having significant market power may include in the offer reasonable conditions regarding the financial capacity of any undertaking, so that for instance potential co-investors need to demonstrate their ability to deliver phased payments on the basis of which the deployment is planned, the acceptance of a strategic plan on the basis of which medium-term deployment plans are prepared, and so on.

(b)

The co-investment offer shall be transparent:

  • the offer shall be available and easily identified on the website of the undertaking designated as having significant market power;

  • full detailed terms shall be made available without undue delay to any potential bidder that has expressed an interest, including the legal form of the co-investment agreement and, when relevant, the heads of term of the governance rules of the co-investment vehicle; and

  • the process, like the road map for the establishment and development of the co-investment project shall be set in advance, shall be clearly explained in writing to any potential co-investor, and all significant milestones shall be clearly communicated to all undertakings without any discrimination.

(c)

The co-investment offer shall include terms to potential co-investors which favour sustainable competition in the long term, in particular:

  • All undertakings shall be offered fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms and conditions for participation in the co-investment agreement relative to the time they join, including in terms of financial consideration required for the acquisition of specific rights, in terms of the protection awarded to the co-investors by those rights both during the building phase and during the exploitation phase, for example by granting indefeasible rights of use (IRUs) for the expected lifetime of the co-invested network and in terms of the conditions for joining and potentially terminating the co-investment agreement. Non-discriminatory terms in this context do not entail that all potential co-investors shall be offered exactly the same terms, including financial terms, but that all variations of the terms offered shall be justified on the basis of the same objective, transparent, non-discriminatory and predictable criteria such as the number of end-user lines committed for.

  • The offer shall allow flexibility in terms of the value and timing of the commitment provided by each co-investor, for example by means of an agreed and potentially increasing percentage of the total end-user lines in a given area, to which co-investors have the possibility to commit gradually and which is set at a unit level enabling smaller co-investors with limited resources to enter the co-investment at a reasonably minimum scale and to gradually increase their participation while ensuring adequate levels of initial commitment. The determination of the financial consideration to be provided by each co-investor needs to reflect the fact that early investors accept greater risks and engage capital sooner.

  • A premium increasing over time shall be considered to be justified for commitments made at later stages and for new co-investors entering the co-investment after the commencement of the project, to reflect diminishing risks and to counteract any incentive to withhold capital in the earlier stages.

  • The co-investment agreement shall allow the assignment of acquired rights by co-investors to other co-investors, or to third parties willing to enter into the co-investment agreement subject to the transferee undertaking being obliged to fulfil all original obligations of the transferor under the co-investment agreement.

  • Co-investors shall grant each other reciprocal rights on fair and reasonable terms and conditions to access the co-invested infrastructure for the purposes of providing services downstream, including to end-users, in accordance with transparent conditions which are to be made transparent in the co-investment offer and subsequent agreement, in particular where co-investors are individually and separately responsible for the deployment of specific parts of the network. If a co-investment vehicle is created, it shall provide access to the network to all co-investors, whether directly or indirectly, on an equivalence of inputs basis and in accordance with fair and reasonable terms and conditions, including financial conditions that reflect the different levels of risk accepted by the individual co-investors.

(d)

The co-investment offer shall ensure a sustainable investment likely to meet future needs, by deploying new network elements that contribute significantly to the deployment of very high capacity networks.

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