The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has fined Bahria Town (Private) Limited PKR 2 million for abusing its dominant position and restricting Nayatel from providing cable, internet and telephony (CIT) services to the residents of phase 1-6 of Bahria Town, Rawalpindi in violation of Section 3 of the Competition Act, 2010.
The order has been passed by the CCP’s bench comprising of the Members Dr. Shahzad Ansar and Ikram Ul Haq Qureshi.
The order held that Bahria Town is dominant in the relevant market to grant ‘right of way’ for provision of telephony and broadband services in phase 1-6 of Bahria Town, Rawalpindi and that it had misused this dominance by not granting the right of way to Nayatel. This act of refusal was discriminatory, exclusionary and resulted in loss of any choice for consumers and restriction of competition in the market.
CCP has ordered Bahria Town grant ‘right of way’ on fair, reasonable and competitive terms and prices for laying down CIT infrastructure. Additionally, Nayatel is also asked to ensure that while laying down and installing its fiber-optic cable, it should use the best technology and reinstate footpaths and all infrastructures to the satisfaction of Bahria Town.
It is pertinent to mention that Section 3 of the Competition Act prohibits businesses with market power (dominant position) in the market from abusing it to exclude competitors, conduct business on unfair terms, discriminate amongst different trading partners, and refuse to deal.
The decision is likely to set a precedent for housing societies across Pakistan that block certain service providers in their localities due to exclusive contracts with single operator.
CCP continuously strives in promoting a healthy competition in all spheres of commercial and economic activity and to protect consumers from anti-competitive behaviour.