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Maroc Telecom ordered to pay Inwi $635M for unfair practices

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A Moroccan commercial court has ordered telecom operator Maroc Telecom to pay compensation of 6.36 billion Moroccan dirhams (US$635 million) to its competitor Wana Corporate (known commercially as Inwi) for unfair competition practices.

In 2021, Inwi brought the case to court and accused Maroc Telecom of abusing its dominant position in the market.

Reuters is reporting that the fine exceeds Maroc Telecom's annual 2022 profit of MAD5.82 billion ($580 million).

In response to the fine, Maroc Telecom said will appeal this judgment as soon as it is notified.

This is not the first time Maroc Telecom has received such a fine. In 2020, Morocco's National Agency of Telecommunications Regulation (ANRT) ordered it to pay MAD3.3 billion ($329 million) for contravening the country's antitrust regulations on the implementation of local loop unbundling (LLU).

Maroc Telecom said it will appeal the judgment as soon as it is notified.   (Source: Background photo created by www.slon.pics - www.freepik.com)
Maroc Telecom said it will appeal the judgment as soon as it is notified.
(Source: Background photo created by www.slon.pics - www.freepik.com)

Maroc Telecom is the largest operator in the North African country with almost 20 million mobile subscribers at the end of December 2023 as reported by statistics from market research company Omdia, a sister company of Connecting Africa.

Orange Morocco was second with almost 19 million mobile subscribers over the same period while Inwi was third with almost 17 million mobile subscribers.

African telcos accused of market dominance

Maroc Telecom is not the only African telco that has been accused of abusing its market dominance.

A similar thing happened to MTN Ghana in 2020, when Ghana's National Communications Authority (NCA) classified MTN as a "Dominant/Significant Market Power" and implemented a set of policies to reduce its dominance in the telecom market.

MTN initially tried to fight the matter in court, but later withdrew the court case, choosing to focus instead on finding an amicable resolution with the regulator.

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*Top image source: Image by garetsvisual on Freepik.

Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

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