19 November 2009

MEF responds to EU Consumer Commission crack down on miss-selling of mobile services

Suhail Bhat, Policy & Initiatives Director, MEF, comments on the news that the EU Consumer Commission has cracked down on websites miss-selling ringtones and other mobile services:

“Since the original notification of the investigation last year, MEF has been working closely with its members to resolve the concerns expressed by the EU’s Consumer Commission as we recognise the importance of transparency and the need to maintain and increase consumer trust in mobile services.

In May 2009, we established an EMEA regulatory committee comprising of 30 companies spanning the entire mobile value chain to examine some of these issues, and have since done the same in South East Asia. Today, PhonepayPlus, the phone-paid services regulator, announced a 62% decrease in complaints about mobile phone-paid services (between July 2008 and October 2009), clearly showing that when regulators and the mobile industry work together, services can operate in a compliant manner to the benefit of all. This is mirrored by the Consumers and Convergence study recently undertaken by KPMG in association with MEF, which showed that consumer satisfaction with mobile music services had grown globally from 26% in 2007 to 66% in 2009.

We would welcome discussion with the EU on the regulation of mobile services. The mobile entertainment industry is valued at $32 billion globally, but the regulations for the same content vary tremendously and are applied inconsistently in different Member States. In many cases, there are multiple regulators with remits over both the advertising and content of services. As convergence becomes a reality, more discussion is needed to ensure consumers continue to enjoy mobile content services.”

For more information on MEF's policy and regulation work, please visit the MEF website: http://www.m-e-f.org/policy_regulation/

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