Egypt’s competition authority accepts reconciliation with Telecom Egypt

The Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) approved on Wednesday the reconciliation request submitted by Telecom Egypt regarding its violation of Article 8 of the law on the Protection of Competition and Prohibition of Monopolistic Practices.

Telecom Egypt partly disconnected companies in the internet industry from the internet supply line. This came after Telecom Egypt had replaced its copper cables with optical fibre cables, but had not fully reconnected the companies to the infrastructure after the replacement was completed. Telecom Egypt had also failed to notify the companies about the replacement plans.

Additionally, Telecom Egypt was also accused of imposing some unfamiliar conditions services to companies throughout the replacement period, which lasted from September 2013 until October 2015.

Telecom Egypt is the sole owner of Egypt’s internet infrastructure, and is the only entity allowed to supply internet providers with the needed connections. The ECA had announced the violation of Telecom Egypt on 8 March.

The ECA approved the reconciliation after Telecom Egypt paid reconciliation value set by the law, and its pledge to oblige by a number of administrative measures to ensure compliance with the law. TE also pledged to fully cooperate with the ECA to ensure fair competition in providing fixed internet infrastructure services.

For its part, the ECA stressed its commitment to terms of the cooperation protocol signed with Egypt telecoms regulator, the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) to ensure economic practices in the ICT sector are being held on a competitive and transparent basis.

The law states that a fine should not be below 1 percent of total revenues of the company that had caused the violations. The fine should also not exceed 10 percent of the company’s revenues during the violation period. In case of inability to calculate the estimated revenues, the fine is estimated at 100,000 Egyptian pounds and should not exceed 3 million pounds.

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