The Competition Commission says major players in the data market, MTN and Vodacom, need to agree to a substantial and immediate reduction in pricing.
The Commission, briefing the media in Pretoria on the Data Service Market Inquiry on Monday, has given mobile companies two months to reduce mobile data prices or face prosecution.
The commission says data prices must be reduced by 30 to 40%.
The commission has found that mobile data prices in South Africa are excessive. It further found that the market is highly concentrated with Vodacom and MTN having a dual monopoly.
It says against an international benchmark, South Africa performs poorly with prices generally being higher. Competition Commissioner, Tembinkosi Bonakele presented the commission’s final data market report. This follows recent calls for data prices, some of which are among the highest in the world, to fall.
Bonakele says:”We do believe strongly as a commission that this requires strong and decisive interventions and we have noted that there have been recent price reductions.”
“We do recommend in the report that Vodacom and MTN must independently reach an agreement with the commission on substantial and immediate reductions in pricing.”
Minister welcomes the report
Communications Minister, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, says South Africa is on track for a fall in data prices. She welcomed the report: “I am also happy colleagues to note that I see Vodacom and MTN here which also makes my job very easy. Because we receive this report, it is upon ourselves to engage and see then that we find each other in terms of ensuring that the people of this country indeed have access to fair and credible communication as we are expected to do.”
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