T-Mobile’s no-data-charge-music-streaming-thing has been going strong since 2014 here in the States, with the company adding services to the offering one by one.
The Netherlands version of the promotion ran into significant headwinds this week, however, as regulators at the Dutch Consumer and Markets (AFM) officially ordered the carrier to stop offering the “zero rating” feature over concerns that it constitutes a threat to net neutrality.
As with the version in the States, the service lets users play unlimited music through participating services, without contributing to their data costs (the U.S. counterpart features a video version, as well). The “participating services” is the key part of the decision here, as promoting certain companies over others can adversely impact competition.
T-Mobile Netherlands, which introduced the service on October 10, will be hit with a $52,000-a-day fine if it refuses to comply to yesterday’s ruling.
Here’s a key bit of the Un-Carrier’s response to the ruling, filtered through Google Translate:
T-Mobile meets the European requirements and is therefore not agree with the decision of the ACM and will refer the matter to the courts. T-Mobile is waiting for the verdict of the court and until then Data Royalty Free Music remains available.
So, all that free streaming may end up costing T-Mobile quite a bit in the end.