The Competition Commission has unconditionally approved the proposed merger of Afrihost and Cool Ideas.
“The Commission found that the proposed transaction is unlikely to result in a substantial prevention or lessening of competition in any relevant markets,” it stated.
“The Commission further found that the proposed transaction does not raise any public interest concerns.”
MyBroadband first reported that Afrihost is acquiring a majority stake in Cool Ideas in June.
Cool Ideas will continue to operate as a stand-alone brand and business with the same management team and employees.
All original Cool Ideas shareholders, including founders Andre Jooste and Paul Butschi, will retain stakes in the company.
The other Cool Ideas shareholders are Roelf Diedericks and Shane Rees-Gibbs.
Finances related to the deal have not been disclosed.
The majority stake in Cool Ideas will make Afrihost a significantly bigger player in the South African fibre ISP market.
Afrihost already owns a majority stake in Axxess, one of the country’s premier service providers.
This acquisition will create a powerhouse with three of South Africa’s top ISPs under the same umbrella.
Cool Ideas was founded by Jooste and Butschi in 2011 when they explored prospects of starting a hosting business.
They also considered business offerings on the DFA network, but when Vumatel started rolling out a fibre-to-the-home network in Johannesburg, they saw a big opportunity.
Cool Ideas partnered with Vumatel to offer fibre services in areas where it had coverage. It was an immediate winner.
The ISP showed rapid growth and started to offer fibre-to-the-home products on other fibre networks, including Openserve, Frogfoot, and Octotel.
Cool Ideas is now a household name in the South African broadband market and a firm favourite for many people.
It won the MyBroadband ISP of the Year Award in 2018 and 2020 and continues to dominate the rankings in 2021.
Unlike many ISPs with a range of products — like hosting, ADSL, and fixed-LTE — Cool Ideas focussed on only fibre.
Butschi said the decision not to diversify was a conscious one as they did not want to get involved in things that are too far from their core business.
This strategy worked out well for Cool Ideas, which rapidly grew into one of South Africa’s largest fibre service providers.