MCA removes SMP obligations on international leased lines

17 Dec 2012

Telecoms watchdog the Malta Communications Authority (MCA) has ruled that quad-play operator GO no longer holds significant market power (SMP) in the retail and wholesale markets for the provision of dedicated capacity over international leased lines on the basis that competitors Melita and Vodafone have fully replicated GO’s international infrastructure and offers. Further, GO’s market shares in the respective segments are declining whilst those of the newer entrants is on the rise and the duo are ‘considered to be in a position to pose a direct competitive constraint on the pricing behaviour of GO.’

Meanwhile, GO was deemed to hold SMP in the following segments: the retail market for national leased lines; and the wholesale markets for the provision of dedicated capacity over national trunk and terminating segments of leased lines. The regulator noted that as no operator has replicated GO’s access network infrastructure, the telco retains high market shares and benefits from economies of scale unavailable to competitors.

On the basis of these decisions, MCA has withdrawn regulatory obligations on GO for the provision of international leased lines, effective from mid-March 2013 (90 calendar days from 12 December 2012). However, in the other areas where GO holds SMP, MCA has ruled that the telco will continue to be subject to its existing requirements which include transparency, cost-oriented pricing and non-discrimination.

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