Was it Abuse?

The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) will rule out, on June 30th, if Safaricom is abusing of its dominant position in mobile money services in Kenya and, if so, oblige the firm to open its M-Pesa agency network to rivals such as Airtel, Orange and yuMobile.

M-Pesa has 18.1M, customers, 11M of which are in Kenya, having a 73% market share and employing 88% of agents in the country.

Airtel accuses Safaricom of pricing it out of business by keeping the costs of transactions for unregistered users at double that of registered customers. The ruling could mean that Safaricom should make other operators’ users’ cash deposits free, although it would give two years to do so.

Safaricom showed commitment to openness: “Due to the growing pervasiveness of mobile money platforms globally, it is now necessary to pursue a standards-led discussion on interoperability,” said Nzioka Waita, the director of corporate affairs at Safaricom.

The telco, however, says there is need for rules to be set detailing just how inter-operability will work, including the sharing of earnings between competitor firms and their agents.

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