Cell C lauds court ruling on Vodacom/Neotel merger

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

South African operator Cell C has welcomed the high court's judgment that says Vodacom cannot acquire Neotel's licences, terming it a victory for consumers. In a statement, Cell C CEO Jos Dos Santos said it is hard to paint a rosy picture of telecommunications in South Africa, noting that the environment is dominated by two players and policed by a regulator that does not always meet its mandate. Santos believes the solution is an open and competitive market, made possible by a level playing field. This is why, he said, several industry players chose to oppose the planned merger between Vodacom and Neotel.

Santos said if Vodacom were to acquire Neotel's vast fibre networks as well as its mobile spectrum, it would render the company's iron grip on the market into an unassailable monopoly able to dictate the price consumers pay to connect. Santos' remarks came before Vodacom called off its proposed acquisition of Neotel, citing regulatory complexities on 1 March.
Source: Telecompaper 2 March 2016