The Competition and Tariff Commission says it is investigating TelOne Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe’s sole fixed telecommunication company, for alleged abuse of its monopoly in the provision of fixed line telephone services.
The state-owned enterprise is the third company after Zesa Holdings and Cimas to be put under the scrutiny of the market watchdog over the same allegations in the last 20 months.
The Competition Commission is a mandated to weed out anti-competition behaviour in markets.
In its reactions to the probe, TelOne said the charges were not valid as TelOne diluted its monopoly when it diversified away from fixed telephone services to voice, data and Internet, markets which are relatively competitive lately.
“We welcome the probe by the Competition and Tariff Commission as it will be carrying out its mandate according to the laws of the country,” TelOne public relations officer Collin Wilbesi said.
“But suffice to point out that TelOne is no longer a monopoly in the provision of telecommunication products. We are no longer a monopoly; don’t know why Competition Commission keeps on saying that. We now have 3 products: voice, data and Internet. The only difference we have from other telecoms is the mode of transmission (in which) they offer voice.”
“In addition, TelOne also offers the most competitive tariffs on the market. As an organisation we operate transparently and do not have anything to hide. We are sure that the investigation will vindicate us.”
The competition authority said it instituted the investigations after it received complaints from customers that TelOne was abusing its monopoly and would receive representations from interested persons until the 26th this month.
“We are still in the investigations process; once the investigation is over we will be able to comment.
“If we found the allegations true then we would take necessary action but if we found the allegations untrue we would close the case,” Competition and Tariff Commission director Alexandra Kububa said.