In two judgments issued during summer 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) provided guidance regarding the qualification of a service as an “electronic communications service” with the meaning set out under Article 2(c) of Directive 2002/21/EC on electronic communications networks and services (“Framework Directive”).
The CJEU indeed held different positions according to the nature of the services provided to end-users. It established that a “VoIP” service, such as Skype, could be seen as an electronic communications service, but not a web-based emailing service, such as Gmail.
The Framework Directive will be repealed with effect from 21 December 2020 due to the entry into force of Directive 2018/1972 establishing the European Electronic Communications Code, which relies on new concepts and (updated) definitions of electronic communications services.
For more developments with regard to those two cases, have a look at our article here.