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BTRC's SMP instructions

GP still expects out of court settlement

FE REPORT | June 30, 2020 00:00:00

Grameenphone, the largest telecom operator of the country, still expects an out-of-court settlement over the Bangladesh Telecom Regulatory Commission's (BTRC) imposition of SMP instructions on the operator.

That is why the operator instructed its lawyer not to mention the writ petition in the court on Monday for hearing, said Barrister Mustafizur Rahman Khan, a counsel for the Grameenphone. The petition was filed on Sunday challenging legality of the BTRC's guidelines.

Mr Mustafizur also said, "Grameenphone authority thinks that it is possible to overcome this problem through dialogues. So they want to take time."

"Large companies usually do not want to escalate lawsuits. And only at the final stage they come to the court for a solution. I think BTRC's guidelines are not sustainable in the eye of law," added the lawyer.

On June 22, the BTRC imposed two conditions on GP under the Significant Market Power (SMP) guidelines, aiming to create a level-playing ground for all telecom operators.

In February last year, the BTRC declared GP as an SMP operator in an attribution that opened the path for several strategic moves to curb its dominance in the local telecom market.

Later, GP went to court to stop the move, but BTRC finally won. On December 15 last year, the HC bench headed by Justice Farah Mahbub, passed an order, allowing the BTRC to impose the Significant Market Power Regulations 2018.

After five months, BTRC imposed two conditions on GP including taking permission before introducing any package, service and offer and also take permission for existing offers and services.

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