The European Commission launched a probe on Tuesday into charges that telecom firms block next-to-free Internet phone services to undermine competitors or degrade the quality of online videos.
With the proliferation of smart phones putting the Internet in the palm of consumers' hands, the European Union's executive arm asked a panel of national regulators to check that telecom firms are maintaining "net neutrality."
Neelie Kroes, the EU telecoms commissioner, warned that the investigation could lead to new rules if operators are found to be misleading consumers about the speed of their Internet services or blocking certain applications.
"Customers should not be led to believe they can access services that in practice are blocked or degraded. Nor should customers be hoodwinked about misleading claims about connection speeds," Kroes said. More...