Maroc Telecom says working on Internet dispute
Moroccan Maroc Telecom, 35 percent owned by France's Vivendi Universal, said on Friday, May 11, it was in talks with other service providers to solve a dispute over pricing of its Internet special offers.
Telecom watchdog ANRT said in a statement that it asked Maroc Telcom to extend an offer for Internet packages, which includes subscription as well as telecommunications tariffs, to all other providers. Maroc Telecom has a monopoly over fixed line services.
The main private Internet operator in Morocco is French Wanadoo. "This marketing method of Internet services can contribute strongly to the development of access to this essential tool," ANRT said.
"However, to ensure access to this service to the largest possible number of people in conformity with the principles of fair competition and equal opportunity stipulated by the law, ANRT has asked Maroc Telecom to set up appropriate conditions to allow all providers to supply Internet packages in healthy and fair competition".
A Maroc Telecom spokesman told Reuters the firm was in talks with providers over the issue. "We are trying to find a positive solution for all parties probably by the end of the month," he said, declining to elaborate.
Maroc Telecom cancelled earlier this month a 10 percent discount on calls from fixed to mobile phones after ANRT called it unfair. The widely advertised discount, which was launched in January, had prompted second mobile phone operator Meditelecom to complain to ANRT of unfair competition.
Meditelecom, a consortium led by Spain's Telefonica, which bought its license in 1999 for $1.1 billion, has a million subscribers and does not operate fixed telephone lines. Maroc Telecom operates the first GSM license with over 2.5 million users and has 1.5 million fixed line subscribers. — (Reuters, Rabat)
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