CCP scrapes ICH, fines LDI operators with billions

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telecom1STAFF REPORT IBD: The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has nullified the International Clearing House (ICH) and has imposed a penalty of 7.5 per cent of annual turnover on each of 14 LDI operator that was part of the agreement for violating section 4 of the Competition Act 2010.

The CCP maintained that volume of incoming calls as on September 2012 before the ICH agreement was 1.9 billion minutes, which had decreased to 579 million minutes in February 2013 after the establishment of ICH.

Earlier, in its order, CCP observed that the estimated revenue of LDI operators for the month of September 2012 – before the ICH arrangement – was $8.37 million, which had increased to $59 million in October 2012 – after the establishment of ICH – and currently stands as $34 million.

The LDI operators have been directed to cease and desist from carrying such prohibited practices and not to enter into any other agreement of similar nature having object or effect of restricting competition and PTA has been advised to ensure restoration of competition amongst the LDI operators as it existed prior to implementation of the ICH agreement.

For failure to comply with the earlier order passed by the Commission requiring the LDI operators to seek clearance if at any point of time they intend to enter into ICH arrangement, a penalty of Rs one million has been imposed on all the LDI operators.


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