Mauritius Telecom and ICTA ordered to pay over $ 16 million to Emtel for unfair competition

Mauritius Telecom and ICTA ordered to pay over $ 16 million to Emtel for unfair competition

On August 9, 2017, the Supreme Court of Mauritius gave a ruling to the mobile telecommunications operator Emtel in the case that it has been opposing for more than 20 years to Mauritius Telecom, Information and Communication (TIOW) and the Ministry of Telecommunications. Emtel had accused the incumbent of unfair competition and the public authorities of control of the telecom market, of inaction. Mauritius Telecom and the ICTA, who were convicted, were finally sentenced to pay 554 million Mauritian rupees (16 million dollars) to Emtel who claimed 1 billion rupees.

Emtel, a pioneer in the mobile service in Mauritius, was awarded an exclusive contract on GSM from 1 January 1989 to 31 December 1995. But in March 1996, Mauritius Telecom launched its mobile activities via its subsidiary Cellplus Mobiles Communications Ltd, The licensee was granted a license on 5 September 1996. The incumbent’s subsidiary therefore operated illegally between March 1996 and August 1996. For Judge Ah Foon Chui Yew Cheong, Emtel was penalized in its activities as a result of ” The conditions of the license by Mauritius Telecom and Cellplus on the one hand, and the tolerance shown by the regulator on the other “.

Reacting to the court ruling, Bashir Currimjee (photo), the president of Emtel said that ”  the telecommunications sector is, and remains, paramount to the development of the country and constitutes one of its pillars. Thus, a strong and impartial regulator is an essential necessity for the good health of this sector, which was not the case 20 years ago. This is one of the reasons that led us to initiate this action. We have always relied on justice and have never doubted the outcome of this affair. Today’s judgment motivates us even more in our commitment to offer our customers the best. An environment that offers equal opportunities to all operators is beneficial to all concerned.

Source: Agence Ecofin