Competition Commission investigates Mauritius Telecom over MyT offering

Telecoms

The Competition Commission of Mauritius (CCM) announced an investigation into Mauritius Telecom’s MyT offering under the Competition Act 2007.

MyT is a ‘bundled’ product offering high-speed internet access, TV, international calls and other services as a package. The Competition Commission is concerned that Mauritius Telecom might be using its effective monopoly of the ADSL (broadband internet) products to gain a competitive advantage in the sale of competitive products such as TV services and international calls. This could take the form of refusal to supply the higher-speed ADSL products except as part of a package, or for example through pricing the MyT bundle against the “ADSL-only” service in a way that unduly influences customers to choose MyT.

The investigation is being carried out under the “monopoly situations” provisions of the Competition Act. If following an investigation and report by the Executive Director, the Commission finds that MT’s actions have the object or effect of “restricting, preventing or distorting competition”, then the Commission can impose remedial measures on MT. Whatever the outcome, there is no possibility of any financial penalties being levied in this case, as these relate only to collusive agreements between several competing companies.

John Davies, Executive Director of the CCM said: “Several people have come forward to express concern about MT’s ‘MyT’ offering. The package mixes together broadband internet – a product in which MT has a monopoly - with products such as international calls and TV services, in which it competes with other companies. There is nothing necessarily wrong with that. Such packages might be in the interests of vigorous competition and convenient for customers. But if customers are unduly influenced towards buying TV services and international calls from MT, just because of its broadband monopoly, that could damage competition in those markets. I decided that we needed to investigate this matter in detail, in order to understand whether the current offering has anti-competitive effects. I look forward to working with MT, its competitors, ICTA and other interested parties on this matter.”

The CCM has a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Information and Communications Technology Authority (ICTA), setting out how the two agencies will work together in exercising their respective powers in the sector. Under the provisions of the MOU, the CCM has informed the ICTA of its intention to investigate this matter and the two bodies have agreed that it is more appropriate for the CCM to act, in this instance. The CCM will conduct its investigation independently, but will seek the advice and opinions of the ICTA throughout the case.

If it finds a breach of the monopoly provisions of the Competition Act, following an investigation, the Commission has the power to force sales of assets or businesses, or require changes in company behaviour, to remedy the situation.
The investigation is expected to take about a year.