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Court tells Maroc Telecom to pay $636 mln to Inwi in antitrust case

A Moroccan commercial court ordered market leader Maroc Telecom to pay compensation of 6.36 billion dirhams ($636 million) to its competitor Wana Corporate, better known by its brand name Inwi, for unfair competition practices.

Shares of Maroc Telecom, the second-largest company on the Casablanca stock exchange by market capitalisation, fell 9.99% following the first instance verdict.

Inwi, the third-largest telecom operator in the country, brought the case in 2021, accusing Maroc Telecom of abusing its dominant position in the market.

No one from Maroc Telecom was immediately available to comment on the decision, including the chairman of its management board Abdeslam Ahizoune.

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A lawyer familiar with the case told Reuters the company has the right to appeal.

The fine exceeds Maroc Telecom’s annual 2022 profit of 5.82 billion dirhams.

In 2020, Morocco’s telecom regulator (ANRT) fined Maroc Telecom 3.3 billion dirhams for abusing its dominant position in the market by hindering competitors’ access to unbundling on its network and the fixed market.

Maroc Telecom, which is also listed on Euronext Paris, is 53% controlled by the UAE’s Etisalat, with the Moroccan state owning 22%.

Besides Morocco, Maroc Telecom operates subsidiaries in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Chad, Togo and the Central African Republic.

Inwi is not a listed company and is majority-controlled by the royal family’s holding company Al Mada.

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By The African Mirror

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