South Africa’s mobile data prices are too high and need to be reduced, said the country’s Competition Commission on Monday.
The Commission has been investigating the data services market inquiry since August 2017 after being asked to do so by the Minister of Economic Development. This followed a public outcry over the price of data in the country.
“The prices are higher than they should be and higher than any other markets elsewhere in the world. The profitability levels are high, reflecting anti-competitive outcomes. This may be the subject of an excessive-pricing investigation,” said the Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel.
Patel noted that the roaming markets are not working as how they should be. He said people should have access to the data so that they can contribute to the economic growth.
Patel said, “The 21st century is being reshaped by data. If we want to grow the economy, we need to have the lowest possible data prices.”
The commission found that larger operators are actively engaged in exploitative price discrimination and partitioning strategies in order to push up margins and prices’
The commission recommended that the two main operators in the country, MTN and Vodacom, to reach agreement with the commission on price reductions in the region of 30- 50 percent.
The commission said, “Failure to reach the necessary agreements within specified time frames will result in the Commission proceeding to prosecution under the appropriate sections of the Competition Act.” Enditem