The Competition Commission of South Africa released its findings after having completed its Data Market Inquiry. The report was initiated after there were numerous calls for data prices to be slashed by members of the public.
Hashtags such as #DataMustFall began trending. Public hearings were held in October 2018, where oral and written submissions were received
The data prices of MTN and Vodacom, according to the report, were found to be excessive and anti-poor. The findings had a negative effect on the stock price of the country’s two largest telecommunications companies. Vodacom's share price slipped to R115.07 a decrease of 5% while MTN's stumbled 5.4% to R86.46.
Competition commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele said the two companies had to come up a substantial and immediate plan to meaningfully reduce data prices. He said based on the preliminary evidence that there was a scope to reduce prices by between 30 to 50 percent.
Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel was present at the release of the report and said that the pricing had a significant effect on the economy and therefore is critical to the growth of not only the digital economy but the economy of the entire country.
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