PUC rules in favour of GTT in “Get More Pay Less” Promotion conflict
The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has concluded that the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GTT) “Get More Pay Less” Promotion is not “anti-competitive” as suggested by Digicel.
Following the launch of GTT’s “Get More Pay Less” promotion on the February 22, 2017,Digicel wrote to the Commission objecting to the international outbound component of the promotion as being anti-competitive.
The promotion offering a bundled package, was for varying durations and each plan was individually priced. Consumers, therefore, had the option of choosing a plan best suited to their individual needs. The minutes offered in the promotion could be used in a number of ways including calls to the United States and Canada.
Digicel contended that the minutes offered by GTT could be utilized to make calls to the USA and Canada, and if all of the minutes provided for in the promotion were used exclusively to make calls to the US and to Canada, then the effective rates of such calls would be significantly below the PUC approved retail rates to these two destinations.
The Company further stated that “it is anti-competitive since GT&T which still holds a monopoly in the market for international services in Guyana is providing Digicel with a wholesale rate which is considerably in excess of the highest possible retail rate its customers would pay.”
After looking at responses from GTT, the Commission requested the number of subscribers to the bundled plan; and the distribution of minutes of usage that must include both local and international minutes.
The Commission has received from the company the latest three months of the bundled plans and minutes of use. The data supplied by GT&T indicated that approximately 96% of the minutes of use were made to the local networks and 4% were used to satisfy international services.
“Having reviewed all of the information available to the Commission, we concluded that the promotion does not appear to be anti-competitive and Digicel is not at a disadvantage as a result of the promotion,” the Commission pointed out.
The PUC added that there was no significant switching by Digicel’s consumers to GT&T’s network to take advantage of the promotion.
The “Get More Pay Less” promotion which commenced on February 22, 2017 shall run for six months, and shall be concluded no later than August 22, 2017.
The Commission has requested to be notified as soon as this promotion ceases.