Telkom to oppose competition watchdog fine

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South Africa’s Telkom said it would oppose a proposed fine by competition authorities of up to 10 % of its revenue for abusing its market dominance.
The country’s competition watchdog said earlier this week Telkom could be fined for overcharging Internet companies who use its fixed-line telecoms network.
Analysts said the fine could be between R3.5-4 billion.
“At this stage, we will oppose it (referral of a fine by the commission),” Telkom’s group executive of legal services, Anton Klopper, told Reuters in a telephone interview.
“And we are not saying we’ll not settle some of those complaints, it depends what the merits are going forward.”
The competition watchdog investigated Telkom after complaints between 2005 and 2007 by the Internet Service Providers Association and other web access providers including MTN’s unit Verizon South Africa, Mweb and Internet Solutions, a unit of Dimension Data.
Klopper said Telkom had not made any provisions for the proposed penalty.
Telkom and the competition watchdog are expected to lock horns on Monday at the Supreme Court of Appeal, where the court is expected to decide whether the watchdog or the industry regulator (Independent Communications Authority of South Africa has jurisdiction on adjudicating the complaints.
“If the Supreme Court finds that the commission has jurisdiction we will have to make a decision for what provisions it will make.”