Maroc Telecom falls foul of competition rules – again

Maroc Telecom falls foul of competition rules – again

A Moroccan commercial court has this week told Maroc Telecom, the leading telecommunications company in Morocco, to pay compensation of  about US$636 million to its competitor Inwi for unfair competition practices.

Inwi, the third-largest operator in the country, brought the case in 2021, accusing Maroc Telecom of abusing its dominant position in the market.

There appears not to have been any comment from Maroc Telecom itself yet on the case. However, the company’s shares were hard hit on the Casablanca stock exchange, falling 9.99% on the news. That said, the company may choose to appeal a fine that is well in excess of its annual 2022 profit, according to Reuters.

Maroc Telecom is not unfamiliar with the situation it finds itself in. In early 2020 the regulator imposed a penalty on Maroc Telecom Group following the results of an investigation launched in 2017, relating to allegations that it had contravened the country’s antitrust regulations on the implementation of local loop unbundling (LLU).

Since 2013, it was alleged, Maroc Telecom had abused its market dominance to delay and prevent its rivals from accessing Morocco’s LLU and fixed broadband sector.

Maroc Telecom is 53% controlled by the UAE's Etisalat, with the Moroccan state owning 22%. It has a number of subsidiaries across Africa.

Inwi, the third-largest telecom operator in Morocco, brought its case in 2021. Imwi is not a listed company; it is majority controlled by the Moroccan royal family’s holding company Al Mada.

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