Telkom fined for "bullying" competitors


A South African government tribunal has fined Telkom SA US$54.8mn following allegations that the company used its monopoly to “bully” competitors

The Competition Tribunal of South Africa, which looked at Telkom’s business practices from 1999 to 2004, found that the company charged its competitors high prices for using its Internet services, while charging much lower fees to its subsidiaries and its customers.

The tribunal concluded that Telkom had used its upstream monopoly in the facilities market to advantage its own subsidiary in the competitive, value-added network market. “Telkom’s conduct caused harm to both competitors and consumers alike and impeded competition and innovation,” read the tribunal’s decision.

A spokesman for Telkom said the company had no immediate comment about the ruling. The commission described Telkom’s practices as "bullying". The case began in 2002, with Internet service providers alleging Telkom charged them excessive fees for accessing its bandwidth.