Anacom announced yesterday at the end of the day that it had approved a resolution that determines the immediate suspension of the offer of the tariff plan PT Free Noites, launched last week by PT Comunicações. The regulator states that «the free traffic of the fixed telephone service provided by PTC, regardless of the different formats that have been followed by the concessionaire, raises serious reservations of a competitive nature».
According to a statement by Anacom, there are also doubts regarding the way consumers differentiate a Nights tariff – which increases the subscription price associated with free traffic at night – and this new plan that guarantees free of charge without additional monthly charge.
PT Comunicações revealed at the end of the day its position regarding this determination by Anacom. An official statement said that the company «agrees with the grounds alleged by Anacom for the suspension of the tariff» and recalls that «in the voice markets practically all PTC’s competitors offer traffic in their tariffs, so PTC is therefore prohibited from accompanying a widespread market practice, with obvious prejudice – we insist – for consumers and the competitive environment «.
The company does, however, intend to abide by the regulator’s decision, awaiting the decision, but will maintain the «campaign to attract and register interested parties», hoping that Anacom’s final decision will be taken in a short period.
It should be remembered that PTunicações launched the new tariff (PT Free Nights) on October 4, guaranteeing that customers who subscribe to the possibility of making free calls to the fixed network, between 9 pm and 9 am next week, as well as on weekends and holidays. On that same date, the operator of the PT Group guaranteed that anyone who had already subscribed to the PT Noites plans could also benefit from this new offer.
PT Comunicações’ statement also recalls that «as is public knowledge, PTC does not intend only to introduce free calls during the night, but as soon as Anacom allows it to introduce minutes in the subscription, that is, that consumers will only start paying for calls that exceed the subscription fee «.
Anacom explains in a statement that the resolution approved today was not submitted to the hearing of interested parties «given that it is important to immediately suspend the plan in question to avoid harmful effects on competition» and that it is already available. No date is put forward for the final decision.
Editor’s Note: [2006-10-16 10:42] The news was updated with information from PT Comunicações on its position in relation to this matter, which was not available at the date of initial publication of the news.
2006-10-04 – PT offers free calls to the fixed network
2006-08-04 – PT Nights with free calls for one month