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Etisalat sues MTN for acquiring Visafone

Etisalat sues MTN for acquiring Visafone
February 08
17:47 2016
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Etisalat Nigeria has filed a law suit against MTN Nigeria to hinder the telecommunications company from further entrenching its dominance in the country.

The law suit is hinged on MTN’s recent acquisition of Visafone, announced in January 2016 but approved back in the last quarter of 2015.

In a statement on Monday, Etisalat said MTN had been declared dominant by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) since 2013, adding that the usage of the 800 Mega Hertz (MHz) spectrum from Visafone would further extend MTN’s dominance.

“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 statement read.

“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.”

Before the acquisition, MTN only operated 900 MHz and 1800 MHz frequency bands, which is also being operated by Etisalat and Airtel who are also using the GSM technology.

According to Reuters, Etisalat said it was in contact with the NCC to understand the logic of its decision to approve the MTN deal despite declaring the South African firm a dominant player in Nigeria’s wholesale and retail voice markets in 2013.

Etisalat currently boasts of a customer base of over 21 million, while MTN has about 60 million users in Nigeria.

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