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South Africa: Cell C raises concern over Vodacom-Neotel merger

June 19, 2015 • Mobile and Telecoms, Southern Africa, Top Stories

Cell C

The only confirmation Cell C has received to date is in the form of a letter from Neotel informing Cell C of ICASA’s approval and the “short public consultation” that is pending on the conditions. (Image Source: g-h.co.za).

Cell C has issued a statement to IT News Africa raising concerns, according to Cell C, over the apparent approval of the Vodacom-Neotel transaction.

In the statement, Cell C revealed that ICASA has not yet published its decision nor explained the reasons for this decision. With the exception of comments attributed to the outgoing chairman, Dr. Stephen Mncube, ICASA has remained tight lipped on the transaction.

Considering the magnitude of such a decision and potential negative impact on the industry, market structure and economy, Cell C is concerned by ICASA’s silence on the matter.  Furthermore, according to Cell C, there has been no mention of the most contentious issue raised by various industry stakeholders, namely the ownership and transfer of spectrum.

The only confirmation Cell C has received to date is in the form of a letter from Neotel informing Cell C of ICASA’s approval and the “short public consultation” that is pending on the conditions.

According to Cell C, it has written to the authority seeking formal confirmation and an explanation of its decision. In written submissions and at the public hearings held in 2015 the telecommunications operators overwhelmingly rejected the proposal from Vodacom and Neotel, as it will be detrimental to the industry and consumers.

Cell C will remain steadfast in its opposition to this merger and will use any and all legal avenues to do so.

Darryl Linington

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