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Communications commission opens urgent investigation in data price hike in Saudi Arabia

A photo taken on August 17, 2017 shows a Saudi employee checking his cell phone at his office in the capital Riyadh. (AFP)
JEDDAH: Main Saudi mobile providers shocked consumers by suddenly hiking prices of data services up to 50 percent in line with the Jan. 1 application of the Value Added Tax (VAT).

Adel Abu Haimed, the spokesman for the CITC, told Arab News: “The CITC is launching an urgent investigation in light of complaints raised by users about the possibility of non-competitive practices and the monopoly in price fixing by some service providers.”

He added: “The CITC affirms that in regulating the telecommunications market, It intervenes in cases of price-fixing schemes coordinated by service providers at a given time.”

“Any infringing practices will be dealt promptly and strictly,” Abu Haimed said.

“There will be a statement after the completion of the investigation and the subsequent decisions taken.”

Nujood Qassem, a legal consultant, told Arab News: “The customer can file a complaint or communicate with the CITC if they were victims to any kind of violation, by submitting a complaint on the CITC website, including all the evidence indicating the damage or violation.”

It is mentioned on the CITC website that If there is a problem with any of the service providers licensed by the commission, a complaint must be made to the service provider through the forms provided by the service provider to its subscribers, while maintaining the complaint number and date.

The subscriber may also submit a complaint to the service provider via the CITC website, or by going to the commission in Riyadh or one of its offices in Jeddah or Dammam.

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