Battle for power between Icasa and Competition Commission

The Competition Commission and Icasa are in a fight over power and jurisdiction, according to BDLive, which may affect the planned R7-billion merger between Vodacom and Neotel.

The report states the centre of the battle revolves around the terms and conditions attached by the commission to its approval of the merger, with which Icasa is not satisfied.

Icasa has requested the Competition Tribunal for access to confidential documents submitted during the deliberations on the merger in an effort to strengthen its case.

In June 2015, Icasa approved the deal between Vodacom and Neotel, adding that the takeover will be subject to compliance with a local ownership law and the roll-out of broadband infrastructure and services.

Icasa’s main concern, according to the report, is the commission’s decision on Vodacom’s use of Neotel’s spectrum – which does not address “competition concerns”.

“It has offered alternative suggestions and wants to be empowered to monitor the adherence by Vodacom-Neotel to the merger conditions, instead of the commission having this role,” stated the report.

For Icasa to intervene effectively, it needs to have access to all information relating to “competition issues”, the report states.

“This could include confidential documents submitted not only by Vodacom and Neotel, but also by MTN, Cell C, Telkom, and Dimension Data, which are strongly opposed to Icasa’s application.”

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Battle for power between Icasa and Competition Commission