Wires

Regulator slaps $375-mln antitrust fine on Maroc Telecom - reports

RABAT, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Morocco's state telecoms regulator has fined market leader Maroc Telecom 3.6 billion dirhams ($375 million) for anti-competitive practices, two Moroccan news sources reported on Sunday.

The two French-language websites, Article19.ma and Medias24.com, cited unnamed sources at the ANRT regulator for the information. Neither the ANRT or Maroc Telecom could be reached immediately for comment.

The fine, which the two websites said was issued last week, compares to the $312-million net profit posted by Maroc Telecom in the first half of 2019.

ANRT urged Maroc Telecom in 2016 to abide by regulations governing local loop unbundling.

Two years later, a rival operator filed suit against Maroc Telecom, accusing the market leader of breaching competition rules. Maroc Telecom has not commented on the lawsuit.

Maroc Telecom, which is listed on the Casablanca Stock Exchange and Euronext Paris, is 53% controlled by the UAEs Etisalat with the Moroccan state owning 22%.

It operates subsidiaries in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Togo and the Central African Republic. (Reporting by Ahmed Eljechtimi Editing by Helen Popper)