The MCA has carried out a national consultation process during the period running from the 19th September 2014 to the 20th October 2014. The MCA received three responses from GO, Melita and Vodafone. All responses elicited during the consultation process have been taken into account in this final decision.
During the Phase 1 evaluation, on 26th November 2014, the Commission requested additional information to which the MCA responded to such request on 1st December 2014. On the basis of the additional information provided by the MCA and the notification document, on 17th December 2014, the Commission issued its comments letter. In this letter the Commission agreed with the conclusions in the draft decision and had no further comments to make.
The MCA has identified the following relevant markets in accordance with competition law principles:
- Lower level access to the public telephone network at a fixed location.
- Higher level access with a maximum of two telephone connections to the public telephone network at a fixed location.
- Enhanced higher level access with more than two telephone connections to the public telephone network at a fixed location.
In its analysis of the identified markets, the MCA did not identify any significant barriers to market entry that could inhibit effective market competition. Despite GO enjoying economies of scale and scope, and also being a vertically integrated operator, the MCA concludes that other operators, namely Melita, also enjoy similar conditions and are therefore competing at par with the incumbent, GO. The MCA also concludes that despite the presence of high sunk costs in deploying a new access network, new entry has happened. Moreover, with the emergence of wireless broadband networks, new operators have managed to enter the market and are somewhat posing an indirect constraint.
Market Analysis of Retail Access to the Public Telephone Network at a Fixed Location