Economic experts for the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa in relation to the Vodacom/Neotel merger, 2015

Acacia Economics provided expert advice to ICASA in relation to the proposed merger between Vodacom and Neotel. The Competition Commisison had raised concerns that the merger would lead to a concentration of spectrum in the hands of Vodacom, which could further entrench its dominant position. Competing operators MTN, Cell C and Telkom intervened in the matter, as well as ICASA and the Ministers for Telecommunications and Postal Services and Economic Development. All were concerned that Vodacom's market power and first-mover advantage would be strengthened by the acquisition of Neotel's spectrum, a vital input for the development of a high speed LTE network. Other operators were constrained in the ability to access more spectrum, as additional spectrum was still to be assigned to mobile operators  by ICASA and it was unclear when this would take place. Acacia Economics prepared an expert report which analysed the likely competition implications of the transaction. The merger was abandoned by the parties before a Tribunal hearing on the matter was held.

Posted on December 13, 2017 .