Vodacom, MTN could challenge Competition Commission’s report on data cost

The commission recommended that the two operators slash prices by at least half in two months or face prosecution.

File picture: Competition Commission officials, presented findings on the Market Services Data Inquiry, December 2019. Picture: @CompComSA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Vodacom on Monday said it was studying a report issued by the Competition Commission on data, which called on the service provider and MTN to drastically lower the cost of data.

However, it noted that the outcome of the commission’s report and a discussion document from the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) differed in opinion when it came to issues that were critical to data prices.

The commission recommended that the two operators slash prices by at least half in two months or face prosecution. It also recommended that service providers give prepaid customers a lifeline package, which gives them free data on a daily basis.

“I cannot take away the possibility that we may have to go through the Competition Tribunal on this, the courts or whatever they elect to do,” said Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele.

Vodacom spokesperson Byron Kennedy said they would talk to the commission.

“Vodacom will respond to Icasa’s market inquiry discussion document within the specified time frame. With regards to the Competition Commission report, we will engage with the commissioner on the matter that arose in the report and we will comment further in due course,” he said.

Government welcomed the commission’s report and said they would implement its recommendations.