Etisalat Sues MTN Over Visafone Acquisition

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Etisalat Nigeria has sued MTN Nigeria and Visafone Ltd, challenging MTN’s use of the 800megahertz (MHZ) spectrum following the acquisition of Visafone.

Etisalat said it considered the action necessary to prevent the use of the spectrum by MTN at this time, as it will entrench the dominance of MTN in the retail data services market.

“You will recall that MTN Nigeria was declared dominant by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in 2013 and remains dominant in the wholesale leased line and retail voice markets.

“The use of the 800MHz spectrum to deploy broadband services ahead of its competitors, particularly those who prior to MTNs purchase of Visafone, held similar spectrum bands as MTN, will further entrench MTN’s dominance in the Nigerian telecommunications sector,” Etisalat said in a statement confirmed by its Head of Media, Chineze Amanfo on Sunday.

The telco said it had, in addition to the legal action and in line with Section 86 of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003, engaged the NCC to understand the basis of its decision to approve the acquisition.

“As you are aware, the matter is already in court as such, we are restrained from commenting further on the matter,” the telco added.

MTN had sued the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) over the imposition of N780billion fine on it by the regulator for harbouring some 5.2million pre-registered subscriber identity module (SIM) cards on its network in violation of extant rules.


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