Morocco’s national telco regulator (the Agence Nationale de Réglementation des Télécommunications or ANRT) has concluded, after a years-long investigation started in 2017 and a prior fining decision was taken in 2020, that Maroc Telecom Group had abused its dominant market position in violation of Article 7 of Law No. 104-12.
Says Andreas Stargard, a competition-law attorney at Primerio Ltd., “it is somewhat rare to see non-specialist regulator investigate competition-law violations and impose antitrust fines — particularly, as here, 5-year-long investigations and such enormous fine amounts as those imposed on Maroc Télécom, which is said to have committed various acts in furtherance of its dominance,” including conduct aimed at delaying competitors’ access to local-loop unbundling and entry into broadband. Stargard notes that the total fine of MAD2.45 billion (approx. US$238 million, which includes the prior 2020 fine amount) is now due to be paid, barring a successful appeal by the operator within 30 days.