Kenya: Safaricom wins legal dispute over 3G licence

Telecoms

Safaricom has reportedly won a two-year legal battle with the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) relating to claims that it over-paid for its October 2007 3G licence. Following Safaricom’s USD25 million licence award, the watchdog went on to issue its smaller rivals Airtel and Telkom 3G concessions for a cut-price USD10 million, prompting market leader Safaricom to initiate legal proceedings in August 2011. At the time the CCK poured scorn on the mobile giant’s court case, with Francis Wangusi, acting director general of the telecoms watchdog, commenting: ‘For four years, they enjoyed monopoly of the 3G services in the country. The other operators have not sought a share of the profits Safaricom made during that period’.

However, it has now been revealed that the two parties reached an out-of-court settlement earlier this year, with the payments expected to be staggered over the next three years. Business Daily Africa quotes the Safaricom annual report as saying: ‘In February 2013, the suit was settled by [mutual] consent, with the CCK agreeing to refund, by way of credit notes against their other fee invoices, the USD15 million in three equal instalments over three financial years to June 2015’.