chapter  8
17 Pages

Small Companies – Big Problems: The Case of Belgacom

WithJohn Vanhoucke

This chapter provides an account of Belgacom's transformation from a state agency to a listed company from 1995 to 2003. In the period 1986–1991 growing international political interest and regulation put pressure on Belgium to liberalise their telecommunications market, and demands were growing at home for the dysfunctional telecommunications state agency to become a functional and efficient entity. These two factors lead to the creation of the autonomous state agency Belgacom. On 20 January 1995, the government announced its intention to establish a strategic partnership between Belgacom, the national telecommunications operator, and one or more qualified telecommunications operators. The selection process was led by both the European Commission and Belgacom with their respective advisers. In terms of profits Belgacom has proven to be as successful as could be and has reinforced Belgacoms' financial battle strength and its ability to scale the barriers towards competition.