Proposals set to propose subjecting online services such as Skype, WhatsApp to same rules as telecom companies
Some of the world’s biggest telecommunications firms are this week poised to win a round in their global slugfest with Silicon Valley—at least in Europe.
The European Union’s executive arm is expected this week to propose subjecting online services like Microsoft Corp.’s Skype and Facebook Inc.’s WhatsApp to some of the same rules that have long regulated the telecoms business, according to tech and telecom lobbyists briefed recently by EU officials.
Skype, for example, may have to offer emergency-calling services for European customers who use its online-voice service to dial traditional phone numbers. In cases where it assigns users telephone numbers—allowing for the receipt of calls from traditional phones—it could also be required to let those users take their numbers with them if they decide to move to a different provider.