ComReg probes Eircom pricing policy

1 Aug 2003

The Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) is to launch an audit to investigate allegations of “off-book” pricing, otherwise a tactic aimed at undercutting competition to win business, by the incumbent telco Eircom.

In October last year, the then Office of the Director of Telecommunications Regulation, now known as ComReg, publicly stated it was investigating allegations of “off-book” pricing by Eircom in terms of its voice telephony services.

A decision notice by ComReg directed Eircom to undertake an independent external audit every year for two years to prove it was complying with the terms of its licence and regulatory rules in terms of its pricing mechanisms and the discounts it offered customers.

According to ComReg, terms of reference governing the independent compliance audit have been agreed with Eircom.

The audit will review Eircom’s compliance with its obligations under the Voice Telephony Regulations and Eircom’s licence. The audit will cover the period from 18 October last year to 30 September this year.

A deadline for the submission of the independent audit has been set for 31 January, 2004.

In a statement, ComReg said it “will continue to take whatever further steps considered necessary in light of progress and developments. It is also keeping under review and investigation any suspected instances of off-book pricing and will take action as appropriate.”

By John Kennedy