Proposed ICH Exchange: CCP warns PTA, IT ministry and 14 LDI operators
Islamabad (Business Recider / August 31, 2012) – Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) on Thursday warned the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Ministry of Information Technology and 14 Long Distance International (LDI) operators that legal proceedings would be initiated under the Competition Act against all concerned in case the proposed International Clearing House Exchange (ICH Exchange) is established. Sources told Business Recorder here on Thursday that the issue between the CCP and PTA on the establishment of the (ICH Exchange took a new turn when the CCP issued a special order to the PTA barring the authority from taking any anti-competitive step by establishing the ICH Exchange.
The CCP here on Thursday issued a special order to PTA, Ministry of Information Technology and 14 Long Distance International (LDI) operators under section 36 of the Competition Act, 2010, seeking confirmation of establishment of International Clearing House (ICH) Exchange. The CCP had issued a policy note to PTA and MoIT on August 28, 2012 terming the establishment of ICH Exchange as anti-competitive, sources maintained.
According to the special order of the CCP, refer to Policy Note issued by the Competition Commission of Pakistan (the Commission ) vide number 52/SY/CCP/P.Note/2012, dated 28-08-2012, addressed to Ministry of Information Technology and copied to Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) in respect of establishment of the International Clearing House Exchange (ICH Exchange) by the LDI Operators and also our order dated February 08, 2012 passed earlier in respect of the said matter.
The Commission has learnt that the LDI Operators are expected to enter into and execute an agreement at PTA premises for the establishment of ICH Exchange. Therefore, in pursuance of Section 36 of the Act, PTA is required to confirm this particular fact and state its stance.
Kindly note, as advised in the Policy Note, proposed ICH Arrangement involves price fixation and sharing of market (quota allocation) between the LDI Operators, which are considered per se illegal, being the most pernicious anti competitive conduct. In the event, the proposed ICH Exchange agreement is entered into, it shall result in initiation of proceedings in accordance with law against all concerned, CCP special order added.