BEIJING, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- China's top economic planning agency is assessing a monopoly case involving two large telecom companies and will make a ruling soon.
Wednesday's news comes more than two years after the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) began to investigate the monopoly of China Telecom and China Unicom in the broadband business.
The NDRC said it was assessing whether the two companies had completely fulfilled their promises to resolve the problems and whether their measures had eliminated the questionable practices. The commission will make rulings based on the assessment in due course.
The two operators, which together account for 90 percent of China's broadband business, could face fines of up to 10 percent of their annual revenues from Internet services, the NDRC said when it launched the probe in Nov. 2011.
After a year of investigation, the NDRC found the two companies failed to fully integrate their networks, causing a lack of competition, increased access costs and slow Internet for customers.
This is the first case on this scale since anti-monopoly laws came into force in 2008.
At the end of 2011, the two companies asked the NDRC to end the investigation, promising to mend the problems, integrate their networks, stop price discrimination against Internet service providers, raise broadband speeds, and lower broadband costs.
At the turn of the year, China Unicom and China Telecom both submitted reports to the NDRC on their solutions to the problems.
The NDRC said on Wednesday that the two companies had significantly raised network integration, extended the direct-link bandwidth of their backbone networks, raised broadband speeds and lowered prices.