The legal battle between mobile operator Inwi and national operator Maroc Telecom, on since March 2018, has ended.
Inwi had called the attention of Morocco’s telecom sector regulator, the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (ANRT) and accused Maroc Telecom of unfair competition based on its decision to block competitors from accessing local loop unbundling (LLU) and fixed broadband.
ITWeb Africa reported that Maroc Telecom was fined 3.3-billion dirhams (approximately US$340-million) by the regulator for blocking competition on fixed broadband since 2013.
The operator said it would appeal the decision, but no official action was taken.
Moreover, the Commercial Court of Rabat was set to pass its judgment on Inwi’s compensation request for 5 billion dirhams from Maroc Telecoms.
Explaining the circumstance leading to the suit withdrawal, Inwi said it was at the request of its majority shareholder.
A statement from the company reads: “The case, brought in 2018 at a commercial court in Rabat, was dropped by the board of directors at the initiative of the royal family’s holding company, Al Mada. Al Mada owns a 69% stake in Inwi.”
Inwi’s other shareholders are Kuwait’s Zain and Kuwaiti Investment Authority’s Al Ajial Investments, each controlling a 15.5% stake since 2009.
Inwi added: “ANRT’s decision will “restore fair competition in the telecommunications market benefiting consumers and companies as well as strict compliance to the laws and regulations in this field.”
In its recently released consolidated results for 31 December 2019, Maroc Telecom said its subscriber base grew by 11.1% to nearly 68 million customers. The Group’s revenue also grew by 0.9% over the figures reported for the same period in 2018. Maroc Telecom attributed the revenue growth to the growth of mobile data in Morocco and in the subsidiaries.
“Improved profitability with an EBITDA margin of 51.8%, an improvement of 1.2 points on a comparable basis, favored by continuous cost optimisation; and Adjusted Operating Cash Flow was up by 29%,” Maroc Telecom stated.