South Africa: Vodacom and MTN Ordered to Reduce 'Anti-Poor' Data Prices

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The commission has also recommended that the government finds ways for free wi-fi to be accessible to a wider range of people.

A Competition Commission report on the data services market inquiry has found that Vodacom and MTN's pre-paid data prices were anti-poor and recommended they be reduced by 30% to 50%. It warned it would prosecute the two companies if they failed to implement its recommendations.

"What we found is that there is anti-poor pricing and we see it not only in tariffs but in data bundles as well. The prices for lower bundles are more expensive than higher bundles and there is no persuasive explanation [from the mobile operators] for this," said James Hodge, the Competition Commission's chief economist, at a briefing in Pretoria held to release its final report.

In 2017 the Competition Commission was asked by the then-minister of economic development, Ebrahim Patel, to look into the high data prices. The commission heard submissions from civil society organisations including Right2Know and amandla.mobi, which have been advocating for data prices to decrease.

Patel, who is currently the minister of trade and industry, was present at the release of the report and said:

"If we want to grow...

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