South Africa: Did the Competition Commission Go Rogue On Icasa Over Slash in Data Costs?

analysis

SA's competition watchdog is now having to defend itself after it announced a bombshell list of interventions to slash mobile data prices by up to 50%. It has been accused of being populist and usurping the regulatory powers of Icasa, a chapter nine institution that regulates mobile operators.

Did the Competition Commission step on the toes of telecommunications regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa), when it made a surprise list of interventions for slashing mobile data prices in the country?

At first glance, it seems like the commission has overreached its mandate by recommending that the big two mobile operators, Vodacom and MTN, reach an agreement with it on "substantial and immediate reductions" on data tariffs by February 2020 -- especially prepaid monthly data bundles -- or face prosecution.

After a two-year probe into mobile data costs, the commission believes that there is scope for Vodacom and MTN to reduce data costs by 30% to 50%. And because of this, the commission was accused of being populist and usurping the regulatory powers of Icasa, a chapter nine institution that regulates mobile operators and protects consumers from unfair business practices.

The commission also declared: "All mobile operators must...

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: Daily Maverick

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 600 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.