3G price hikes did not violate competition law, authority says

3 Jan 2014

An investigation by the Vietnam Competition Authority (VCA) has concluded that a recent increase in 3G tariffs by the country’s three largest mobile operators was legal, Thanh Nien News cites a report by Tuoi Tre newspaper as saying. According to the VCA, the price hikes implemented in October last year by Vinaphone and MobiFone, both subsidiaries of state-owned Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications (VNPT), and military-run Viettel were ‘reasonable’ and did not violate the Law on Competition. Mobile operators have argued that the 3G price hikes are necessary to enable them to upgrade and expand their networks to meet growing demand for mobile data services, and are also required to offset declining revenues as a result of subscribers using smartphone apps to make free calls and send free messages. The VCA said it did not detect signs of collusion among the three companies, as they submitted the new tariff proposals to the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) at different times, and the effective times and changes for each 3G service package were also different.