VENTURES AFRICA – South African telecommunications company, Telkom SA Ltd has been cautioned with a 449 million rand ($54.8 million) fine by the Competition Tribunal for using its dominance in the South African market to quell potential competition.
After investigating five different anti-trust complaints against Telekom, the Competition Commission asked the Competition Tribunal to fine the teleco the sum of 3.25 billion rand ($393 million), for the abuse of its dominance within 1999 and 2007 but Telekom lamented, stating that the fine would be disastrous to its business operations.
The South African Competition Tribunal stated in an e-mailed on Tuesday that “Telkom’s conduct caused harm to both competitors and consumers alike and impeded competition and innovation.”
According to Reuters, Dobek Pater, a telecoms analyst at consultancy Africa Analysis said that “Telkom had to be fined something to make it politically equitable and for the Competition Tribunal not to be seen as unfair”
Telkom is a leading integrated communications company in Africa, providing integrated communications solutions to customers in more than 38 African countries.
The South African government with a 40 percent stake, is considering making the company fully state-owned because of the plummeting demand for its land-line services and ominous business operation.