(CN) – European countries can ban bundled telecommunications contracts, Europe’s top court ruled, rejecting a challenge to bundling regulations brought by Poland’s largest phone company.
Telekomunikacja Polska SA challenged a 2006 ruling by the Polish Office for Electronic Communications (UKE) that ordered it to stop requiring broadband customers to sign up for telephone services. The ruling came out of a 2004 Polish law preventing big telecom companies from forcing consumers to sign up for services they did not need.
Telekomunikacja appealed to the Supreme Administrative Court after its challenge was rejected, and the case ended up in the European Union’s highest court.
The EU Court of Justice ruled that the Polish regulator can ban bundled contracts under a 2002 law protecting consumer rights in telecom contracts. EU telecom regulation can’t prevent national regulation against contract bundling, the court ruled.
Under the ruling, EU countries may “prohibit the making of the conclusion of a contract for the provision of telecommunications services contingent on the conclusion, by the end-user, of a separate contract,” according to a press release.
Telecom companies must “establish conditions in such a way that the subscriber is not obliged to pay for facilities or services which are not necessary or not required for the service requested,” the release states.