LONDON - The National Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (ANRT) slapped Morocco’s leading telecom operator Maroc Telecom (IAM) with a fine of 340 million dollars (3.3 billion dirhams) for anti-competitive practices, according to the telecommunications regulator.
The hefty fine, which concerned the implementation of unbundling, was imposed by the ANRT following an investigation into the referral file in accordance with the provisions of Law No. 104-12 relating to free pricing and competition, said the regulator in a press release on Sunday.
The investigation has been ongoing since May 2017 as the two conflicting parties - IAM and WANA - have been able to express their observations, in particular on the report drawn up by the investigation services.
The ANRT said that there had been cumulative conduct attributed to IAM since 2013, which had the effect of preventing and delaying competitors' access to unbundling and to the landline market.
“At the end of the deliberations, these behaviors were deemed to constitute abuse of a dominant position, prohibited by the provisions of article 7 of the aforementioned law n ° 104-12, liable to a financial penalty, the amount of which is fixed to three billion three hundred million dirhams, fully paid to the Treasury,” said the regulator.
This sanction, pronounced by the ANRT, is close to 10% of Maroc Telecom’s turnover which was $3.75 billion (Dh36 billion) in 2018.
IAM announced that it had taken note of ANRT’s decision, saying it reserved the right to exercise the remedies provided by law.