Liberia brings the hammer down on operator price hikes

Liberia brings the hammer down on operator price hikes

Liberia’s regulator LTA (Liberia Telecommunications Authority) has slammed the “illegal and arbitrary increases” which operators Lonestar Cell-MTN and Orange Liberia have made to their voice and data tariffs.

Accusing the operators of a coordinated squeeze, the LTA stated: “This acts as illegal price fixing, collusion, and antitrust conspiracy. Under relevant provisions of the Liberia Telecommunications Act of 2007, no ‘Term Services’ can be increased without approval of the LTA.”

In September 2019, the LTA implemented order 0016-02-25-19 which forbade operators from offering free voice services as a promotion and stipulated a floor price on both voice and data. Additionally, operators were ordered to return any revenue generated from this practice to the government.

CommsUpdate reports that the operators have argued that their new terms of service are in line with last September’s order. However, the regulator has dismissed this, claiming that they are “far in excess of what is required for implementation of any order and designed for profiteering and political purposes.” The operators have been ordered to cease and desist or face penalties or further measures.

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