Regulators reject anti-competitive roaming allegations

28 Sep 2016

Costa Rica’s telecoms watchdog the Superintendency of Telecommunications (Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones, Sutel) and antitrust authority the Commission to Promote Competition (Comision para Promover la Competencia, Coprocom) have rejected allegations from state-owned utility provider Grupo ICE – which offers telecom services under the Kolbi brand – relating to its competitors’ mobile roaming charges. El Financiero writes that in May 2015 Kolbi accused Movistar Costa Rica and Claro Costa Rica of monopolistic practices for offering voice and data roaming in Central America at local prices (sometimes referred to as ‘roam like home’). Kolbi claimed that the strategy constituted margin squeezing by abusing the duo’s dominance in the region, and requested that the regulator conduct a market analysis to assess the situation.

Sutel passed the matter to Coprocom in July last year for consideration, but in its ruling the agency found no evidence that the pair had significant power in the relevant markets, adding that it was therefore ‘not considered relevant’ to assess whether the two cellcos were engaged in anti-competitive practices.