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Mon 26 Sep 2016 01:52 PM

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Ooredoo Qatar slammed for 'anti-competitive conduct'

Telecom provider is ordered by regulator to allow all requests for access to its infrastructure

Ooredoo Qatar slammed for 'anti-competitive conduct'

Leading Qatari telecom provider Ooredoo has been censured by the Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) for damaging the country’s economic growth by raising prices for consumers and engaging in “anti-competitive” conduct.

The CRA said the telecom firm has thus negatively affected state-owned Qatar National Broadband Network (QNBN) and Vodafone, reported Doha News.

Ooredoo “prevented development of competition. In doing so, [it] is likely to have maintained artificially high prices for consumers,” the CRA said.

It added that the firm was not granting QNBN or Vodafone access to its infrastructure ducts despite on-going talks in 2013 to compensate Ooredoo for use of its network. Ooredoo in turn said QNBN had breached an existing agreement by failing to pay an invoice.

QNBN claimed Ooredoo’s failure to allow access to its fixed telecoms market has led to monthly revenue loss of $206,000 (QR750,000).

The CRA said Ooredoo’s actions “threaten to eliminate effective competition in the downstream fixed and mobile markets. Such behaviour is even more reprehensible in that it jeopardizes the decision of the state of Qatar to build a passive infrastructure open to all service providers…”

It ordered Ooredoo to satisfy all requests for access to its infrastructure, submit monthly reports listing the number of requests and lodge a $4.1mn (QR15mn) performance bond to guarantee its obedience.

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