EU regulators plan to assess whether there is a need for action in the push for a common mobile phone charger following a lack of progress by phone makers towards this goal, EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager announced.
The EC has been arguing in favour of the need for a common charger for nearly a decade. Its arguments include the 51,000 tons of electronic waste yearly from old chargers collected every year and the inconvenience to consumers.
In response to EU pressure, 14 companies including Samsung, Huawei, Apple and Nokia signed a voluntary memorandum of understanding (MoU) in 2009. By means of the memorandum, they agreed to harmonize chargers for new models of smartphones coming into the market in 2011. Further, after the MoU expired in 2012, some of the companies subsequently signed letters of intent in 2013 and 2014.
“Given the unsatisfactory progress with this voluntary approach, the Commission will shortly launch an impact assessment study to evaluate costs and benefits of different other options,” Vestager said in on August 1.