Etihad Atheeb Telecom Files Lawsuit against Saudi Telecom Company "STC"
Wed, February 16, 2011
GO Telecom has filed a lawsuit on February 14, 2011 against the Saudi Telecom Company “STC” before Diwan Al Madhalim, The suit seeks to compel “STC” to enable international traffic termination from the company’s network through STC’s network to the end user, and enable outgoing calls from its network to GO telecom toll-free (800) numbers. The suit has been filed by Etihad Atheeb Telecom due to STC’s violation of Telecommunications Laws & Regulations, and to prevent market monopoly, which led to depriving Etihad Atheeb Telecom of substantial revenues and consequently caused the company's financial losses which have been announced earlier.
Etihad Atheeb Telecom holds a Fixed Telecommunications license on the basis of Royal Decree No. M / 6 dated of 19.02.1429 , which includes the operation of an international gateway allowing the company to receive incoming international calls from any telecommunications operator in the world and deliver outgoing international calls to customers inside the Kingdom, regardless of the customers’ service provider. Conversely, STC refuses to transit international calls routed to its customers through any gateways not owned by them, thus monopolizing access to those customers. The Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) issued a decision dated 08/27/1430 AH demanding STC to allow call conveyance by other licensed operators in the kingdom, but STC refused to conform to their decision.
On the other hand, in an act of monopoly of the national fixed Telecommunications network that was inherited by STC after the decision to privatize the telecommunications sector, STC continues to monopolize the provision of prepaid calling cards (Hala), and refuses to allow its customers to make calls via similar services offered by Etihad Atheeb Telecom that is licensed to provide fixed services. The national fixed Telecommunications network is a vital facility according to the Saudi Telecommunications laws and regulations, the dominant operator in any country has no right to monopolize it and prevent other operators from gaining access to it.
The Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) had commented at various occasions on the susceptibility of the regulatory system and need for regulatory amendments to create an environment better suited for fair competition, Therefore, as part of the Board of Directors’ commitment to preserve the rights of shareholders and the interests of the company, the company’s conviction in the justice of Saudi Legal System, and in rejection of regulatory violations and market monopoly, the company has filed a suit to claim all the rights acquired through its license as the second fixed line operator in the kingdom.