Ver Angola


Competition Authority says there is a conflict of competences with the Communications Institute

The Competition Regulatory Authority (ARC) defends the revocation of the powers of the Angolan Communications Institute (INACOM) that are likely to generate conflicts regarding its regulatory and sanctioning powers in certain circumstances.

: Ampe Rogério/Lusa
Ampe Rogério/Lusa  

In a study on competition in the telecommunications sector in Angola, that entity warns of the risk of conflict of competences between INACOM, the regulatory body for electronic telecommunications in Angola, and ARC within the scope of regulatory powers.

The study, consulted this Monday by Lusa, highlights INACOM's powers, in light of the Law on Electronic Communications and Information Society Services, and its sanctioning power in case of violation of the sector's own rules.

ARC recalls that the competition regulator in Angola is a body with transversal powers, acting in all areas of activity, within the scope of competition, with the competence to ensure compliance with competition rules in the various economic sectors that make up the national market.

ARC is responsible for preventing and repressing abuses of dominant positions in the different relevant markets that may be determined, highlights the study referring to the Competition Law.

"In this sense, INACOM's regulatory and sanctioning powers in certain circumstances may result in a conflict of competences, either in relation to the criteria to be used in determining operators with significant market power, or in the scope of the application of sanctioning powers", it is highlighted in the study.

Regarding the criteria to be used to determine market power, ARC believes that "there may be divergences between a possible regulatory framework to be approved by INACOM and the rules resulting from the Competition Law".

It defends the need to ensure that the criteria used "are uniform" and based on the competition rules in force in Angola to combat the risk of conflicts.

In ARC's opinion, determining a market operator with significant power, based on heterogeneous criteria, may still represent a public policy problem".

"Therefore, it is not enough for the market operator to have a dominant position for its intervention in the market to have competitive implications, it is essential that the acts carried out are likely to harm healthy competition, through the use of said power in an abusive manner", highlights.

"Therefore, the imposition of operability conditions on agents in the sector solely based on the possession of market power is likely to restrict competition, as it entails the assumption of burdens for a given agent, capable of limiting its action in the market in competitive terms", he adds.

In this study, which brings together findings, conclusions and recommendations on competition in the telecommunications sector in Angola, ARC even considers that in the field of applying sanctions "it is necessary to ensure the uniformity of the regulatory system, and a market agent cannot be punished twice for the same fact and by different entities".

"It is understood that the solution involves reforming the regulatory framework applicable to the telecommunications sector, which must be conformed to current rules on the defense and promotion of competition. For this reason, it is recommended that INACOM's powers be revoked that are susceptible of generating conflicts in the face of the powers of the ARC", highlights the research.

The Competition Regulatory Authority is the public body, assigned to the Ministry of Finance, which is responsible for ensuring compliance with the rules for promoting and defending competition in the public, private, cooperative and associative sectors.


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