Competition Council: Iranian State Telecommunications Company's shares sold due to no competition

ICT Materials 19 March 2010 13:48 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, March 19 / Trend /

In November, a deal was made on Iran's stock market. It is equal to 10 percent of all stock transactions of Iran in uncompetitive terms, Iranian Competition Council chairman Jamshid Pazhuyan said, Iranian newspaper "Hamshahri" reported.

After this agreement has been concluded on the Tehran stock exchange, Iranian economists, representatives of the parliament, companies engaged in the public and private sector, have protested the lack of competition while concluding this contract.

It was agreed that if the Competition Council decides to cancel the agreement, the shares of Iranian Telecommunication Company will be put to sale on the market once again.

The Competition Council examined the issue in November 2009. Finally, it announced its final decision in connection with the agreement March 13. Despite the fact that the tender was conducted without competition, according to the decision, the Council did not nullify the agreement. The reason that the Competition Council has not taken the decision to revoke the agreement, Pazhuyan noted the great financial loss from the cancellation of the agreement.

"The council came to the decision that the signed agreement was reached in the absence of competition. TCI was withdrawn from the governmental monopoly, but transferred to other company, also related to the state," Pazhuyan said.

Pazhuyan added that the Competition Council has not made a decision on the correctness or fallacy of the agreement. However, the government has come to the decision to control the availability of competition and pricing in the telecommunications market implemented by the Council.

For the first time in the economic history of Iran, shares of the state structure TCI (Telecommunication Company of Iran) were bought by a consortium of "Etemad Mobin Development" in November 2009. The consortium, which consists of three companies, bought the state share of 50 percent +1 share in TCI, paying $7.8 billion.

"Etemad Mobin" company refers to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard ( "Sepah"). The positions of "Sepah" are strong in the economic field. According to various opinions, Guards control one third of the Iranian economy. The consortium "Pishqamane Kevire Yezd", who wanted to buy shares in this company several hours before the tender. But it was excluded from participation. The company "Etimad Mobin" as the sole purchaser acquired shares of Telecommunication Company of Iran.