MTN, Vodacom face price-fixing probe

The Competition Commission has subpoenaed key people at cellphone providers MTN and Vodacom for suspected price-fixing, the Business Report said on Monday.

Commissioner Shaun Ramburuth would not say how many people had been subpoenaed, saying only that the ”process of interviewing them is under way”.

”I don’t want to prejudge the case,” he told the newspaper.

The allegations of price collusion relate to interconnection fees, which the operators raised by 500% to R1,25 in 2001.

This was the same year that newcomer Cell C entered the market.

Ramburuth said it had been difficult to find evidence of ”explicit collusion”.

”Vodacom and MTN set the rate between themselves and in that agreement have a non-discrimination clause, which says that everyone will be charged the same.

”In circumstances like that [the difficulty is to establish] explicit collusion. The situation somehow provided a defence for the cellphone companies, who claim that they did not collude and that the regulations required them to do that,” said Ramburuth.

Recently, the government has intervened to try to get high interconnection rates lowered, and the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa is meeting the operators this week. — Sapa

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

Police fail parents who babies died in alleged negligence incident,...

A lost police case docket and a hospital failing to report alleged medical misconduct adds to parents’ grief after losing twins.

‘A Still Life’ goes to root of the connection of...

An homage to selected dying trees, ‘A Still Life’ provides viewers with an opportunity to consider a moment of connection between humans, trees and the natural environment

OPINION| Black writers and publishers are South Africa’s ‘linguistic orphans’

The challenges we face in the world of scholarly and leisure reading and writing are not unique to our country but it is crucial to overcome them if we want to be as good as we look in our Constitution

Roads flooded, buildings washed away in latest Durban downpour

No deaths have been reported after mudslides caused by heavy weekend rains

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…