Application for authorization of an exclusive distribution arrangement by Malawi Telecommunications Limited

On 7th October 2014, the Commission received an application from the Malawi Telecommunications Limited (MTL) for authorization of an exclusive distribution arrangement for its products.

MTL submitted that the proposed exclusive distribution arrangement involved designation of distributors whose role was to purchase products (recharge vouchers) from MTL and distribute to retail traders and final consumers. It was further submitted that, under this exclusive distribution agreement, the identified distributors would be prevented from selling MTL products outside their designated areas. However, MTL itself would be allowed to distribute its products directly into any designated territories.

The Commission conducted an assessment on the likely effect on competition of the proposed exclusive distribution arrangement. The Commission found that the arrangement would bring efficiency since distributors and wholesalers would only concentrate on specific areas as defined by MTL. It was also established that the arrangement would allow distributors and wholesalers to distribute products of competing firms. Further, the Commission established that the Exclusive Distribution Arrangement would ensure increased access of MTL’s products and services in both rural and urban areas at uniform price.

Having determined that the advantages outweighed the disadvantages, the Commission, during its 41st Meeting held on 6th February, 2015, authorized the Exclusive Distribution Arrangement  by MTL.

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