The National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) and the Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) signed a cooperation Protocol between them. In fact, this Protocol is considered an expression of both parties’ interest in the welfare of both the market and the consumer.
It is a declaration of joint collaboration and coordination between them in order to boost the freedom of competition in the telecom sector and exchange of information and expertise between them. The protocol was signed by Dr. Amr Badawi, the NTRA’s Executive President and Dr. Sameh El-Torgoman, Chairman of the Board of Directors of ECA.
Dr. Amr Badawi has underscored the fact that the cooperation Protocol has been considered a positive step in the way of facilitation of cooperation between the two authorities concerning the enhancement of protection of competition in the telecom sector and the exchange of expertise and information in the cases that might be considered monopolistic in the telecom market in Egypt.
In addition, Dr. Amr Badawi has stated that the Egyptian telecom sector has been a sector of major entities, where there should be a differentiation between the acquisition of a dominant share in the market and the anti-competitive and monopolistic practices. The NTRA’s Executive President has stated that the cooperation Protocol would create a competitive and fair environment for all companies operating in the telecom sector, enabling them to operate on non-discriminatory basis. Furthermore, the NTRA would be enabled to communicate better with the ECA, hence leaving a positive impact on the control of anti-competitive practices that might harm the telecommunications industry in Egypt.
Dr. Sameh El-Torgoman, Chairman of ECA’s Board of Directors has stated that the cooperation with the NTRA will take place in the exchange of information and expertise between the two parties on issues of common interest, exchange of technical support provision as well as the standardization of methods of economic and legal analysis conducted by each of them in the telecom sector especially those related to the definition of the relevant market and different means of control of practices that might harm free competition.
This Protocol has been the upshot of both parties’ keenness to boost competition and coordination between them, in order to achieve the principle of integration between regulatory bodies, all with the aim of benefitting the Egyptian economy and attaining public welfare.
It is worth mentioning in this respect that the NTRA is the national authority competent to regulate and manage the communications facility. On stipulating the establishment of the NTRA in the Telecom Regulatory Law No. 10/2003, the legislator has aimed to regulate the communications facility, the development and deployment of its services in a way that keeps abreast of the latest technologies and meets the users’ needs at the most affordable prices, and encourage domestic and international investment in this field within the framework of free competition in the telecom sector.
As for ECA, it is the authority competent to protect competition and prevent monopolistic practices as per the provisions of Competition Protection and Prevention of Monopolistic Practices No. 3/2005. In addition, it is competent to monitor all economic activities and take the needed measures to investigate, search and collect evidence to curb agreements and practices that might result in the prevention, restriction or damage of freedom of competition and might represent crimes penalized by law. Moreover, ECA raises the public awareness of the provisions of the law and its violations, seeking to establish programs and relationships with the concerned entities, authorities and bodies in order to create an environment that enriches competition in the Egyptian markets in a way that benefits the Egyptian citizen and enables him to find alternatives to the products and services at different prices and values.