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CCP Sets Aside Own Inquiry Report Against Telecom Company

The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has set aside and disposed of show cause notice issued to Wateen Telecom Limited and also set aside the findings of its enquiry in the matter of alleged violation of Section 3 of the Competition Act, 2010.

This is the second instance whereby the CCP bench has set aside its own enquiry report, claiming that it reflects the impartiality of the watchdog in order to ensure Commission’s enforcement procedures.

According to the CCP’s announcement made here on Tuesday stating that the residents DHA Phase 5 Lahore complained to the CCP that Wateen Telecom was bundling its “Analogue Television Service” with the “Digital Television and Internet Services.” Resultantly, in the absence of any other cable television service provider in the area, Wateen was allegedly abusing its dominant position by tying various products. After the enquiry, a show cause notice was issued to Wateen.

The enquiry claimed that in the relevant market for the provision of Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC)-based analogue television service in Phase V of DHA Lahore, Wateen had prima facie abused its dominant position by tying its different products in violation of Section 3 of the Competition Act 2010. After hearing the parties, the CCP’s bench passed the order.

The order noted that television broadcasting sector is under a transition from Analogue to Digital Services based on the directions of sector regulator, i.e. Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra). As per the settled jurisprudence in EU, since the Analogue and Digital TV Services cannot be sub segmented into two separate product markets, hence the question of a tie-in of substitutable services with the same relevant market does not arise. – The News

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