EU clamps down on roaming fees

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BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union is clamping down on mobile network providers charging consumers high prices for using their phones and tablet computers abroad.

The European Parliament said Wednesday that it had reached a deal with governments on significantly lower caps for making phone calls or surfing the Internet from a smartphone or tablet in other EU countries as of July 1.

The agreement, reached late Tuesday, will also allow consumers to sign on for a separate roaming contract as of July 1, 2014, if another network offers a better deal.

It's the first time that the EU has capped the price of mobile data roaming within its 27 member states.

As of July 1 this year, downloading one megabyte of data will cost consumers no more than 70 euro cents (93 U.S. cents) and the cap will be lowered to 40 euro cents by July 2014.

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