Dutch Market Regulator Bans T-Mobile's 'Free' Streaming Music Service

The Dutch Consumer and Markets regulator ordered T-Mobile to shut down its zero-rated music streaming service because it violates the country’s net neutrality rules. T-Mobile launched the Music Freedom service in October, allowing customers to stream music on their mobile devices without it impacting their data plans. Reuters reports: The AFM said the practice, often called “zero rating” is a violation of Dutch net neutrality rules, because it puts rival services such as Spotify at a competitive disadvantage. Deutsche Telekom subsidiary T-Mobile Netherlands, which had introduced the product on Oct. 10, must stop offering it or face penalty of 50,000 euros ($52,000) per day, the AFM said. Zero rating is shaping up as one of the major battlegrounds for European telecommunications companies as they seek ways to attract customers. The Dutch net neutrality law unambiguously forbids the practice, but European Union rules are less clear.

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