MTN discrimination case sent to tribunal for decision

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

The Competition Commission this week referred its findings of price discrimination by cellular operator MTN to the competition tribunal for adjudication.

The referral arose from a complaint of anti-competitive conduct by MTN in relation to the interconnection fee it charges Cell C for its community service telephones (CST). CSTs are public telephones that operate on the mobile telecommunication networks.

They are placed in areas where there is limited access to fixed-line telephones.

In its complaint, Cell C alleged that where MTN charged Vodacom reduced CST interconnection rates, it charged Cell C a commercial interconnection rate in the same areas.

The commission found this amounted to price discrimination. Price discrimination occurs when a dominant firm, without any objective justification, charges different prices to purchasers for equivalent transactions.

"We have always been confident that the Competition Commission would rule in the interest of fair competition," Zeona Motshabi, chief corporate officer at Cell C said yesterday.