In October 2015 it was revealed that MTN Nigeria had been slammed with a USD $5.2 billion fine by Nigeria’s Communications Commission (NCC). Weeks after the announcement, MTN revealed in November 2015 that it had appointed Phuthuma Nhleko as Executive Chairman in a temporary capacity as Sifiso Dabengwa had resigned as CEO.
“Due to the most unfortunate prevailing circumstances occurring at MTN Nigeria, I, in the interest of the Company and its shareholders, have tendered my resignation with immediate effect,” stated Sifiso Dabengwa.
While MTN has taken blow after blow, it seems as though the company is inline for another blow yet again. According to a report via thisdaylive.com, MTN Uganda has been ordered by the commercial court to pay the sum of Shs 2.3 billion (about $662,000 depending on the exchange rate) in damages to EzeeMoney Limited for, according to the report, “sabotaging its business.”
The report reveals that Justice Henry Peter Adonyo on November 6, 2015 also ordered MTN to stop acting in an unlawful and anti-competitive manner, which denies other businesses an opportunity to prosper.
The report adds that Justice Adonyo said MTN should pay Shs 800 million to EzeeMoney in general damages for loss of business. It should also pay a penalty of Shs 1.5 billion in punitive damages to deter not only MTN, but also warn other companies against noncompetitive business tactics.
According to the report EzeeMoney, an e-money business, had obtained a contract from MTN for the provision of digital transmission [E1] and 30 fixed telephone lines to carry out its mobile money business. However, in 2013 MTN cancelled the contract, saying EzeeMoney was a direct competitor to its mobile money business.
According to the report, the court had found that MTN coerced its agents to reject EzeeMoney. One witness according to thisdaylive.com, told the court that he was an MTN money agent and he was restricted from dealing with other firms in the same business by signing exclusivity agreement.
The Ugandan commercial court is the latest to impose a fine against the cell phone company.