CompCom launches inquiry into high data prices

23 Aug 2017

South African antitrust regulator the Competition Commission (CompCom) has launched an investigation into suspected competition issues in the market for data services, in response to a request from economic development minister Ebrahim Patel. According to the Government Gazette, ‘the commission has initiated the inquiry because it believes there are features in this market that prevent, distort or restrict competition within the sector … 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 will assess: market structure; general adequacy and impact of the current regulatory regime; strategic behaviour by large fixed and mobile incumbents; costs faced and profits earned by fixed and mobile network operators; current arrangements for sharing of network infrastructure; investment in infrastructure by operators and access to and allocation of spectrum, as they relate to data services price and competition concerns; and the adequacy of regulation to promote new South African entrants. The CompCom aims to finalise the inquiry by 31 August 2018. 

South Africa