Developments of the CJEU on the concept of “electronic communications service”

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The Framework Directive will be repealed with effect from 21 December 2020 due to the entry into force of Directive 2018/1972 establishing the European Electronic Communications Code, which relies on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.