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South Africa: MTN takes court action against Vodacom-Neotel merger

 |  January 29, 2015

MTN Group, Africa’s largest phone company, said it opposes Vodacom Group Ltd.’s acquisition of Neotel Pty Ltd. as the deal would give Vodacom dominance in South Africa’s high-speed Internet market.

“Vodacom would be able to create a national LTE network at a time when its competitors are unable to do so,” The Johannesburg-based company said in a filing, referring to the long-term evolution high-speed wireless technology. “This would give Vodacom an unmatchable cost and time-to-market advantage.”

Vodacom, which is controlled by Vodafone Group Plc, is the largest telecommunications company in South Africa. Neotel’s wireless spectrum would allow Vodacom to strengthen its position, MTN said in the document.

Vodacom’s $517 million acquisition of Neotel has been approved with conditions by South Africa’s telecommunications regulator and has also received provisional antitrust approval. The Competition Commission is seeking responses from the company’s rivals.

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