CA DG Mr. Francis Wangusi, Chairman Mr. Ngene Gituku, Mr.Matano Ndaro, Director, Competition, Tariffs and Market Analysis and Ms. Rachel Alwala, Assistant Director, Consumer and Public Affairs at a press conference on the regulation of dominant licensees in the ICT sector.

 

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has dismissed reports in sections of the media claiming that the recently reviewed regulations for the ICT sector are targeting particular player on the sector.

There have been reports in a section of the media implying that one of the regulations the Fair Competition and Equality of Treatment Regulations have been developed for the sole purpose of declaring Safaricom a dominant telecommunications player.

CA Chairman Ngene Gituku, clarified that dominance was not tied to a  specific firm but would address the various economic market segments in the ICT sector, such as mobile voice, fixed voice, data, voice termination, narrow band/wholesale Broadband Internet, SMS, and mobile money.

‘‘To determine their relative competitiveness, each of these markets is analyzed separately as a specific and relevant economic market, consistent with international best practice.  In view of this, any firm could be dominant in any one of these markets,’’ said Mr. Gituku.

The DG Mr. Francis Wangusi said the Authority will carry out a scientific study of the market that will provide the basis for declarations of players as dominant. This also imposes certain obligations on such players.

‘‘After the study has been undertaken, the Authority shall develop a dominant market power report detailing the relative economic strength of various licensees in the various specific relevant markets,’’ stressed Mr.Wangusi.

Dominant firms attract more scrutiny, considering that any anti-competitive action could be detrimental to the market as a whole.  The proposed Fair Competition and Equality of Treatment Regulations seek to identify dominant players in the various economic markets and apply appropriate and proportionate preventive measures to forestall the possibility of abuse of dominance. 

The Authority also sought to clarify that the proposed regulations were not specific to the telecommunication market only, but address the ICT industry as a whole including the broadcasting and postal and courier sectors.

There have also been allegations that the Authority has not effectively co-operated with its counterpart, the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) before coming up with the regulations.

The two institutions signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in April 2015 with respect to concurrent jurisdiction on competition issues.  In addition, a consultant is currently finalizing on the envisaged concurrent regulatory framework to assist the two agencies in handling competition matters that fall under their dual jurisdiction.