More Africa NewsMaroc Telecom challenges a $232.3 million fine from the regulator for abuse of a dominant position

August 25, 2022by myles0

In June 2014, the regulator set the rules for unbundling the telecoms infrastructure of the incumbent operator Maroc Telecom. The latter opposed it, arguing that the infrastructures in question are the fruit of his investments.

The telecommunications operator Maroc Telecom (IAM) has just lodged an appeal with the Rabat Court of Appeal, according to the local press. The incumbent operator is thus contesting the fine of 2.45 billion dirhams (232.3 million USD) imposed on it last July by the National Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (ANRT) for abuse of a dominant position on the fixed market.

This new fine is nothing other than the proceeds of the liquidation of the penalty imposed on the incumbent operator on January 17, 2020. The ANRT notably accuses Maroc Telecom of cumulative anti-competitive behavior having had the effect of preventing and to delay competitors’ access to the unbundling of its network infrastructure and to the fixed-line market.

According to Morocco’s Court of Auditors, Maroc Telecom’s monopoly on fixed Internet (ADSL) harms the development of online services, in particular because of the lack of competition. From 1999 to 2017, the fixed subscriber base increased from 1.5 million subscribers to approximately 1.8 million subscribers, an increase of 20% in 18 years.

If Maroc Telecom agrees to unbundle its infrastructures, this should allow its competitors to lease its copper telephone lines in order to be able to offer their own ADSL services to customers. Such an initiative should guarantee more choice to subscribers. However, it will significantly reduce Maroc Telecom’s revenues.

Source: Agence Ecofin

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