Cell C, South Africa’s third largest mobile operator by subscribers, has lodged an antitrust complaint against MTN and Vodacom, which it alleges are guilty of ‘discriminatory pricing’ practices. The move represents the latest attack by Cell C CEO Alan Knott-Craig, himself a former Vodacom CEO, on the larger companies. Reuters reports that the complaint centres on the preferential on-net tariffs offered by the duo. The news agency quotes Knott-Craig as saying: ‘This amounts to discriminatory pricing and is without a doubt anti-competitive when adopted by dominant operators’.
Richard Boorman, a spokesman for Vodacom, hit back by saying: ‘Cell C is apparently arguing for an increase in the price that Vodacom customers pay to call other Vodacom customers. It’s hard to argue that increasing prices would be a benefit to consumers’. MTN has also waded into the war of words, with CEO Zunaid Bulbulia saying: ‘We see this as another desperate attempt to cry for further subsidies for a failing business’.