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Mon 30 May 2011 08:13 PM

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Qatar regulator rejects pricing claims against Qtel

ictQATAR dismisses allegation by rival Vodafone Qatar over anti-competitive international call tariffs

Qatar regulator rejects pricing claims against Qtel
Vodafone

Qatar’s regulator said on Monday it had rejected a claim by Vodafone Qatar that rival Qatar Telecom engaged in anti-competitive practices when pricing international calls.

The Regulatory Authority of the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQATAR) turned down the claim that Qtel, the country’s largest company by revenue, offered international telephone service at rates below cost.

"ictQATAR concludes that Qtel has not engaged in anti-competitive behaviour with respect to its pricing for international calls," it said in a statement on its website.

"ictQATAR therefore rejected the claim of Vodafone and considers the matter closed.

The regulator’s announcement marks the second time in a year that ictQatar intervened publicly in a dispute between the two companies.

It ruled in July that Qtel broke the law when it partnered with Virgin Mobile to offer mobile telephone services.

That decision came after Vodafone Qatar threatened to take legal action against ictQatar for allowing the partnership.

Earlier this month, Vodafone Qatar said that its subscriber numbers passed the 750,000 mark by the end of March this year.

The Qatar unit of the UK phone giant said customer numbers in the Gulf state rose by 63 percent in the past year to a total of 756,767.

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