January 25, 2010
The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), and in keeping with one of its core missions manifested in safeguarding and monitoring competition within the local telecommunications market, announced today the telecommunications' "Competition Framework". The "Framework", the first to be developed by TRA, provides detailed outline benefiting telecommunications consumers by promoting and protecting competition through deterring Licensees from engaging in activities that may impede competition in the UAE telecommunications sector.
The Competition Framework, that was announced by HE Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, Director General of TRA, during a press conference held at TRA’s main Offices in Abu Dhabi, sets out how TRA intends to apply the competition provisions contained in the Telecommunications Law and in the conditions set out in Etisalat’s and du’s Telecommunications Licenses. The Framework outlines TRA’s approach to the definition of specific telecommunications markets in the UAE as well as a methodology for undertaking competition assessments to determine whether any licensee has market power in any of those markets.
Commenting on the announcement of the "Framework, Mohammed Nasser Al Ghanim, Director General of TRA said: "similar concepts [competition frameworks] are well established in many telecom jurisdictions such as Europe and the US for example." He added that: TRA consulted with several stakeholders during the development phase of the framework, and we are very happy to put in place such an important piece of the telecommunication’s regulations within the country."
Al Ghanim added that "the framework will not only ensure that TRA continues to foster growth and development of the telecommunication sector through the creation of sustainable, vibrant and fair competition, but will also give guidance to stakeholders operating in this sector as to what TRA considers as being acceptable competitive behavior."
The Framework also provides a detailed exposition of the types of anticompetitive conducts that are most likely to occur in the telecommunications sector in the UAE and provides guidance on how TRA will analyze any such occurrences of these conducts. Finally, the Framework includes a detailed procedure by which affected parties can lodge a complaint of anti-competitive behavior against a Licensee and the processes TRA will follow to investigate such a complaint. Full outline of the Competition Framework is published on TRA’s website at www.tra.gov.ae.