The figures of the Electronic and Postal Communications Authority (AKEP) confirm the preliminary data published by “Monitor” at the beginning of June and show that the joint result of the three mobile operators for the last year was negative in the amount of about ALL 235 million. in significant deterioration from 2019, when the aggregate result was positive for more than ALL 1 billion.
Determinant in this deterioration has been the significant contraction of the result of the company Vodafone Albania, which reported a profit of only 120 million ALL, while in 2019 it had achieved a profit of around 1.4 billion ALL. The result of Albtelecom, which deepened the losses for the second year in a row, also had a negative impact. According to AKEP, Albtelecom lost about 1.18 billion ALL, from 645 million ALL that was the loss of the previous year.
The only operator that for the last year managed to improve its financial result was One, which reported a profit in the amount of ALL 820 million, from ALL 285 million profit that had been achieved for 2019.
After 2015, the financial performance of mobile operators has deteriorated significantly, due to the intensification of competition and the decline of the revenue base. The mobile services market declined for the fourth consecutive year in 2020 and the total revenues of operators amounted to ALL 23.9 billion, down by 9% compared to a year earlier. On the other hand, according to AKEP data, investments in mobile networks reached the value of about 56 million euros, an increase of 64% compared to a year ago.
In its 2020 annual report, AKEP expressed concern that competition is being accompanied by predatory pricing practices, which could harm especially the smallest operators and the overall market ability to secure sufficient profits to support new investments in the future. .
From the monitoring done by AKEP it has been concluded that during the second half of 2020 there has been an increase in aggressive promotional campaigns of mobile operators to attract customers, offering packages at low prices, up to 50% less, especially for subscribers who carry the number from another operator. As a result, there was a fairly high number of ports, where subscribers benefited from discount offers, which also affected the revenues of operators from this market.
According to AKEP, the application of aggressive promotional campaigns, mainly for porting the number from one operator to another, in a short period of time produces positive effects for consumers, but can bring serious consequences for the competition in the long run. AKEP implies that predatory prices can be a mechanism of abuse of market power by larger operators, with the aim of ousting smaller operators.
In April this year, the Competition Authority also raised suspicions that unfair competition practices are being used in the mobile phone market, in the form of predatory prices. In the official decision, CA assessed that the offers of Vodafone Albania, at a lower price compared to those of the other two companies operating in the mobile phone market, raise a reasonable doubt that we are facing a behavior oriented towards predatory prices.