The leading operator in Ghana has failed in its attempt to challenge its recent classification as a Significant Market Power by the regulator, the National Communication Authority (NCA).
As readers may remember, in early June the regulator deemed MTN Ghana’s market dominance to be of a sufficient level that specific regulatory restrictions should be enforced on the operator. What sort of restrictions these might be is not yet clear.
The operator, however, asserted that “the manner of the recent declaration of MTN as a Dominant/SMP player raises concerns about clear procedural breaches and substantive issues". It also insisted that it had never “engaged in an anti-competitive behaviour”.
In the event, TeleGeography's CommsUpdate reports that the Commercial High Court in Accra has dismissed MTN Ghana’s case.
It seems that MTN had argued the declaration was in breach of its right to be heard and a violation of procedural fairness. However it seems that the NCA was able to satisfy the court that it had held consultations for about five years.
In addition research conducted by consulting and research specialist Analysys Mason in 2016 found MTN to have market share of around 46 percent. This has since increased, according to the NCA, to approximately 58 percent of the voice market and 68 percent of the data market.
According to Ghanaian press reports, MTN Ghana says its concerns regarding the NCA declaring it as a Significant Market Power remain unresolved and that it will “explore all available options and next steps in this process”.
According to the GSMA, Ghana has the highest mobile penetration in West Africa. The country’s operators include a number of major regional players – not just MTN Ghana but Vodafone Ghana and AirtelTigo.