Telecom giant, MTN Ghana says it will be seeking Judicial review over the Ghanaian Government’s attempt to restrict its operations and market growth.
According to MTN, it was formally notified on June 9th, 2020 of the National Communications Authority’s (NCA) decision to declare MTN as a Dominant/Significant Market Power (SMP).
“This essentially means that special regulatory restrictions would be enforced to potentially limit the company’s growth, performance, innovativeness and its competitiveness in the telecoms market,” MTN Ghana says in a statement issued by its corporate affairs directorate.
MTN Ghana acknowledges the NCA’s duty and powers to promote fair competition amongst licensed operators in Ghana’s telecommunications sector within the relevant laws of Ghana and acceptable global industry best practices. Regretfully, the manner of the recent declaration of MTN as a Dominant/SMP raises concerns about clear procedural breaches and substantive issues, it said.
Following the NCA’s declaration, MTN Ghana refrained from publicly commenting on the matter and engaged in dialogue with the regulatory authority and other stakeholders to share our views on the matter, MTN Ghana explained.
While these engagements have been largely encouraging, the NCA continues with implementation of the specified interventions, the statement said.
“As such, MTN Ghana has after much consultation, and as a last resort, made the difficult decision to resort to the Law Courts for redress in the form of a judicial review of NCA’s decision, to ensure the observance of the requirements of procedural fairness,” it added.
“MTN has over the years shown confidence in the Ghana telecommunications sector, by the continued investment in hitherto undervalued ventures (e.g., rural telephony, broadband services, 4G technology, new innovations, mobile money etc.) to support the development of the industry and to deliver on our belief that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life. We have indeed collaborated with Government over the period to invest in priority projects that have all contributed to our current position in the market. The high proliferation of choice in the Ghanaian telecoms market aided by Mobile Number Portability, Network interoperability, very affordable SIMs and accompanying multiple SIM handsets are all indicators of a free and competitive market,” it added.
“MTN Ghana would like to reiterate that it is not opposed to steps by the Regulator to enhance further the highly competitive Ghana telecoms industry and is indeed prepared to support the Regulator to that end. However, we believe that the regulatory authority must follow the applicable legislations and global industry best practices. As a responsible and ethical leader, MTN is neither aware of any industry economics / market study to establish market failure nor has MTN taken any steps or engaged in anti-competitive behavior. We remain open to dialogue to achieve an amicable resolution to this matter,” it noted.
“MTN Ghana would like to reassure Government and its cherished shareholders and customers that our commitment to the delivery of a bold new digital world in Ghana continues to be paramount and that the company remains focused on providing the enabling technology to support Ghana’s digital economy particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond,” according to the statement.
By Melvin Tarlue