Telkom has approached the Competition Tribunal to declare the suite of spectrum arrangements between Vodacom and Rain as a ‘merger’ that should have been notifiable in terms of the Competition Act.
Telkom argues that the merger is notifiable because the multiple agreements between Vodacom and Rain grant the former use and control over the deployment of Rain’s spectrum, including the planning, rollout, maintenance and service of its radio access network.
According to Telkom’s group executive for Regulatory Affairs and Government Relations, Dr Siyabonga Mahlangu, Vodacom’s ability to control Rain’s spectrum entrenches its position as a dominant player in a highly concentrated market.
“It is important that the effects of spectrum arrangements on competition are scrutinised,” said Mahlangu. “Particularly, in light of the upcoming spectrum auction which will set the ground for the nature of competition in the mobile market for the foreseeable future,” he said.
Telkom has asked the Competition Tribunal to find that the arrangements constitute a notifiable merger and should be subjected to scrutiny by the competition authorities.