On 9 August 1993, the telecommunications organizations of France, Germany, Italy and Spain and British Telecommunications plc. submitted to the Commission for examination under the competition rules, technical cooperation agreements referred to as GEN (Global European Network), aimed at improving the quality and availability of international leased lines mainly through more efficient operational mechanisms. Each participating operator agrees to dedicate a certain amount of fibre-optic capability to GEN and to install on its network at least one node (or network access system) and associated data packet transmission links conforming to the X25 standard. GEN, not being a legal entity, does not own any equipment. When a new operator joins, the costs are reapportioned under the terms of the GEN operation agreement. Admission to GEN is open to all applicants who fulfil certain criteria and will take place in order of application. As presently configured, there is a technical limitation on the number of GEN operators, as GEN can accommodate up to 20 nodes. Beyond that number there would be a significant deterioration in the quality, efficiency and speed of operation of GEN. It is, however, possible to enhance the management system capability to increase the number of nodes with investment and the commitment of time and resources. After preliminary scrutiny, the Commission considers that the application must be examined under the provisions of the EU's competition rules. Interested third parties are therefore invited to send to the Commission any observations they may have regarding these arrangements.
Germany, Spain, France, Italy