PTCL accused of anti-competitive practices

20 Jun 2012

Pakistan’s anti-trust agency, the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has issued a show cause notice to fixed line incumbent Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd (PTCL) for abusing its dominant position in the DSL broadband market. According to local daily the Express Tribune, the CCP’s notice was prompted by a formal complaint from Micronet Broadband, LinkDotNet Telecom and Nexlinx accusing PTCL of practising predatory pricing and refusal to deal. The CCP found that PTCL, by overpricing access to its infrastructure, had reduced the profit margin for other operators to such an extent that an ‘equally efficient competitor cannot operate profitably.’ In calling the incumbent to account, the watchdog added: ‘PTCL, through the practice of margin squeeze, has made the market for provision of broadband services through Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) technology uncompetitive and prohibitive.’ PTCL has 14 days to defend its position and could face penalties of up to either PKR75 million (USD794,870) or 10% of its sales revenue, whichever is higher.