By Adria Calatayud
Shares of Inmarsat PLC (ISAT.LN) fell sharply in morning trade Tuesday, after the U.N.'s International Maritime Organization ended the company's monopoly on satellite services for the global maritime distress safety system.
U.S. competitor Iridium Communications Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208839949/composite IRDM +0.72% said late Monday that its mobile-satellite system had been recognized by the IMO for use in the maritime safety system--which is required for ships of 300 gross tonnage or more. Iridium said this will bring competition to the system and will end Inmarsat's monopoly.
Iridium plans to start providing services for the system in early 2020, it said.
Inmarsat, a London-based satellite telecommunications company, said Tuesday it would issue an official response shortly.
At 1015 GMT, shares in FTSE 250-listed Inmarsat traded 12% lower at 343.20 pence.