Regulator accepts no blame for Lacom plight

22 Aug 2007

Algeria’s Post and Telecommunications Regulation Authority (ARPT) has denied accusations that it has helped cause heavy losses at the country’s second national fixed line licensee, Lacom. Lacom’s part-owner, Telecom Egypt, has said that unfair competition in Algeria has seen the unit rack up losses of USD45 million, El Khabar reports. A statement released by the regulator denies this, however, with the ARPT claiming that it supported Lacom by forcing the country’s dominant provider, Algerie Telecom, to stop offering WiLL phones for free when the offer was judged to be anti-competitive. The ARPT adds that it has taken ‘all the required measures that encourage fair competition in post and telecommunication markets’. As TeleGeography reported on Monday, Lacom’s owners are looking for a way of folding up the company without incurring further losses as it is now facing bankruptcy.