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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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Article 74Price control and cost accounting obligations

1.A national regulatory authority may, in accordance with Article 68, impose obligations relating to cost recovery and price control, including obligations for cost orientation of prices and obligations concerning cost-accounting systems, for the provision of specific types of interconnection or access, in situations where a market analysis indicates that a lack of effective competition means that the undertaking concerned may sustain prices at an excessively high level, or may apply a price squeeze, to the detriment of end-users.

In determining whether price control obligations would be appropriate, national regulatory authorities shall take into account the need to promote competition and long-term end-user interests related to the deployment and take-up of next-generation networks, and in particular of very high capacity networks. In particular, to encourage investments by the undertaking, including in next-generation networks, national regulatory authorities shall take into account the investment made by the undertaking. Where the national regulatory authorities consider price control obligations to be appropriate, they shall allow the undertaking a reasonable rate of return on adequate capital employed, taking into account any risks specific to a particular new investment network project.

National regulatory authorities shall consider not imposing or maintaining obligations pursuant to this Article, where they establish that a demonstrable retail price constraint is present and that any obligations imposed in accordance with Articles 69 to 73, including, in particular, any economic replicability test imposed in accordance with Article 70, ensures effective and non-discriminatory access.

When national regulatory authorities consider it appropriate to impose price control obligations on access to existing network elements, they shall also take account of the benefits of predictable and stable wholesale prices in ensuring efficient market entry and sufficient incentives for all undertakings to deploy new and enhanced networks.

2.National regulatory authorities shall ensure that any cost recovery mechanism or pricing methodology that is mandated serves to promote the deployment of new and enhanced networks, efficiency and sustainable competition and maximises sustainable end-user benefits. In this regard, national regulatory authorities may also take account of prices available in comparable competitive markets.

3.Where an undertaking has an obligation regarding the cost orientation of its prices, the burden of proof that charges are derived from costs, including a reasonable rate of return on investment, shall lie with the undertaking concerned. For the purpose of calculating the cost of efficient provision of services, national regulatory authorities may use cost accounting methods independent of those used by the undertaking. National regulatory authorities may require an undertaking to provide full justification for its prices, and may, where appropriate, require prices to be adjusted.

4.National regulatory authorities shall ensure that, where implementation of a cost-accounting system is mandated in order to support price control, a description of the cost-accounting system is made publicly available, showing at least the main categories under which costs are grouped and the rules used for the allocation of costs. A qualified independent body shall verify compliance with the cost-accounting system and shall publish annually a statement concerning compliance.

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