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The court decision will not impact e& Group’s consolidated results for the second quarter of 2024 or subsequent periods, said the company. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: UAE-based e& Group has expressed disappointment with the Court of Appeal of Casablanca’s decision on July 3, which rejected the appeal filed by Maroc Telecom (MT), a subsidiary of e&. The UAE telco giant said in a statement issued Wednesday that it intends to appeal the decision, which negatively impacts e &’s investments in Morocco.

e& said, “The group firmly believes in the validity of Maroc Telecom’s legal position and intends to pursue all available legal avenues to appeal this ruling and protect e &’s investments in Maroc Telecom.”

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Jassem Mohamed Bu Ataba Alzaabi, Chairman of e& Group, said: “It is unfortunate that while global capital is looking to leverage the transformative power of technology to enhance digital infrastructure, smart government services, and digital solutions for people, a challenging regulatory environment negatively affects the future outlook of our investments in Morocco,”

This decision upholds the Commercial Court of Rabat’s ruling from January 29, mandating MT to pay 6.368 billion Moroccan dirhams (approximately $645 million) to Wana Corporate for alleged anti-competitive practices.

As a significant shareholder in MT, with a 53 per cent stake, the Group said it remains confident in its continuous compliance with all regulatory laws and regulations across its operating markets.

No impact on Q2 earnings 

It has also assured its shareholders that the court decision will not impact e& Group’s consolidated results for the second quarter of 2024 or subsequent periods due to adequate coverage of international regulatory risks.

Meanwhile, Hatem Dowidar, CEO of e& Group, said, “e& Group is committed to fully complying with the laws in our markets. Empowering communities digitally has been a cornerstone of e &’s success over the past decades.”

He said, “We affirm that driving the digital future requires constructive cooperation between service providers, regulators, and legislators to foster the desired development of communities and individuals.”

Dowidar also emphasised that all options regarding e &’s investment in MT are on the table due to the repeated setbacks caused by regulatory penalties, legal judgments, and resolutions that limit Maroc Telecom’s ability to compete in the market.

Over the past few years, this has cost MT more than Moroccan Dh 12 billion (more than $1.2 billion) in penalties — one of the highest in the telecom sector worldwide — impeding Maroc Telecom’s future investments.