South Africa launches inquiry into high data service prices

25 August 2017


The Competition Commission of South Africa has launched an investigation into suspected competition problems in the market for data services, leading to high prices. The terms of the investigation were published in the Government Gazette, and the Commission will call for submissions after 20 business days. 

Through the inquiry, the Commission aims to determine what may cause or lead to high data prices with a view to ultimately making recommendations that will result in lower prices for data services. The inquiry was initiated in response to a request by the Economic Development Minister, Ebrahim Patel, who also has expressed concerns over high data costs and highlighted the importance of data affordability. 

The main objectives of the inquiry are to obtain a clear understanding of the data services value chain, including the interaction and commercial relationship between different levels of the value chain and the relationship with other parts of the ICT sector and the broader economy. The regulator aims to identify areas of market power where customers or consumers may be exploited or excluded by firms and to identify any other structural, behavioural or regulatory factors that may influence competition or pricing. The inquiry is due for completion by 31 August 2018. 

Source: Telecom Paper