Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT) has drafted ‘Pakistan Telecommunication Competition Rules, 2017’ in order to discourage anti-competitive behaviour. Also, to avoid abuse of dominant position holders and to ensure fair competition within the telecommunication sector. MoITT Drafts ‘Pakistan Telecommunication Competition Rules, 2017’ to Ensure Fair Competition in Telecom sector.
The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) recommended the MoITT to review telecom policy. The ministry, however ignoring the CCP recommendations, has formulated Pakistan Telecommunication Competition Rules 2017.
MoITT Drafts ‘Pakistan Telecommunication Competition Rules, 2017’ to Ensure Fair Competition in Telecom sector
According to the formulated rules, a license holder can not agree or arrange with another licensee, where the agreement prevents or lessens or is likely to prevent or lessen competition substantially in a market.
Also, a licensee cannot acquire any other licensee without prior approval and obtaining No Objection Certification (NOC) from the Authority with regard to adverse effect on provision of licensed services along with other licensees.
The PTA would evaluate every request for a merger or acquisition objectively and issue a written order on such a request. The Authority can not unreasonably withhold permission for merger or acquisition and its request.
It may be denied if the proposed merger or acquisition is in direct conflict with any law or government policy directive issued under the Act. Or is motivated towards lessening of competition from a relevant market. Or it allows for the change of scope of licensed services defined between the different segments of the industry.
No licensee will be allowed to engage in anti-competitive behavior
The Authority while granting NOC may impose such conditions and remedies to ensure consumer protection, fair use of scarce resources, sharing of essential facilities and fair competition.
Unless prior approval of the PTA is obtained, a licensee shall not agree or arrange with another licensee or person to fix prices or coordinate separate bids for assets, resources or rights.
According to the rules, the Authority shall ensure that open and fair competition is facilitated and encouraged in relevant markets within the telecommunication’s sector.
The Authority shall regulate tariff for provisioning of any telecom service to the telecom consumers under the licence issued by PTA. This is done in order to safeguard the consumers or end-users from any anticompetitive, burdensome, unreasonable or unfair practices.
A licensee shall not enter into any agreement or otherwise arrange with another licensee where the agreement or arrangement is likely to prevent or substantially lessen fair competition in a market.
No licensee will be allowed to engage in anti-competitive behavior. The licencees with significant market power will be required to introduce national roaming on a fair and non-discriminatory basis.
The Authority will allow sharing of resources including spectrum between the licensees to improve efficiency, promote competition and ensure that the scarce resources are used product.
With true implementation of these rules, fair and non discriminatory competition will be ensured in the Telecom industry of Pakistan.