Motorola rejects UK regulator’s claim of radio network monopoly profit

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Oct 14 (Reuters) – Britain’s competition regulator said on Friday that Motorola Solutions’ (MSI.N) monopoly over its mobile emergency radio services in the country had led to high fees, boosting its profits, a claim which the US-based company rejected.

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said an interim assessment, after an investigation last year, found that the lack of competition allowed Motorola to make around 160 million pounds (180.3 million) of excess profits per year.

Walkie-talkie maker Motorola rejected the CMA’s finding.

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“Motorola Solutions fully rejects CMA’s unfounded and incorrect calculation of ‘excess’ earnings, which is based on an arbitrary period of Project Airwave,” a spokesperson for the US company said in an emailed statement.

The Motorola-owned Airwave network is used by the UK police and fire service, in addition to other emergency services, and is expected to be used until a new network, called Emergency Services Network, is ready.

“Our current view is that the Home Office and our emergency services are locked in with a monopoly supplier who can charge far more than they could in a properly functioning market, while the taxpayers foot the bill. “said Martin Coleman of the AMC.

The CMA recommended that the Home Office put a clear plan in place as soon as possible to ensure that a new and improved network was available and proposed price controls on the Airwave network to reduce costs for the taxpayer.

Motorola, which bought the Airwave network in 2016, said it would continue to work with the regulator but would also assess any legal options needed to protect its contracts. ($1 = 0.8875 pounds)

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Reporting by Amna Karimi and Radhika Anilkumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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