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MTN Withdraws SMP Classification Case Against NCA

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Scancom Plc, operators of MTN Ghana Limited have withdrawn their legal action against the industry regulator, the National Communications Authority (NCA) decision to classify it as a significant market player (SMP) in the telecommunications industry.

This was disclosed by Counsel for MTN, Mr Samuel Cudjoe yesterday. He told a five-member panel of the Supreme Court, presided over by Justice Paul Baffoe-Bonnie that he had instructions from MTN to withdraw the case.

The NCA had designated MTN as Significant Market Power (SMP) and sought to limit the service provider’s market dominance.

Sector Minister, Ursula Owusu, later described the directive in a Citi News interview as a move to protect the consumer against any unforeseen shocks that may be experienced by MTN.

The High Court in August dismissed MTN’s review application filed against the industry regulator, National Communication Authority.

MTN Ghana on Friday, September 4, 2020, applied to the Supreme Court to review the High Court’s recent decision regarding the declaration of the company as a Significant Market Power.

SMP classification

The SMP classification means the NCA has come to the conclusion that MTN controls more than 40 per cent of the telecommunications industry and, therefore, as mandated by law, the NCA can take remedial measures against MTN to curtail its market dominance in order to promote competition in the industry and also protect the interest of consumers.

Pursuant to Section 20 (10) of the Electronic Communications Act, 2008 (Act 775), on June 9, this year, the NCA classified MTN as a SMP, after the regulator had determined that the mobile network operator controlled more than 57 per cent of the voice market share, as well as more than 67 per cent of the data market share.

Act 775 allows the NCA to take “corrective measures” against a SMP in order to promote competition, protect other mobile network operators and consumers.
As part of the corrective measures, the

NCA, among other things, decided to “review and approve all charges by MTN”, set caps on what MTN can charge for its services, ensure that MTN’s access to information did not disadvantage other operators and also impose a 30 per cent interconnect rate for two years in favour of other “disadvantaged operators”.

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