A debate has been raging on for nearly a year pitting the Communication Authority Kenya and ICT Ministry against Safaricom over what is seen as market dominance of the Telco . The Communication Authority of Kenya has been working on formulating regulations that will give it powers to declare any firm with more than 50% of the market as the dominant player.The debate also drew in the Competition Authority of Kenya, which stated that Safaricom is not abusing its dominance. The power to declare a player dominant is however vested in the ministry or CA.
The ministry of ICT has now stated that regulations seeking to reign in on the dominance of a single player are now ready for debate in Parliament. According to the Ministry of ICT, the regulations are met to ensure that smaller players have room in the market and will be introduced in parliament in the next two weeks. The clarion call for the regulation has been championed by Bharti Airtel, which is the second largest player in the Kenyan market. Safaricom controls 67.4 per cent of Kenya’s telecoms market, followed by Airtel Kenya has controls 22.6 per cent of the market while Orange has 10 per cent.
Global best practices demand a review of an industry to determine if there are high barriers of entry, if the dominant position is expected to persist indefinitely and whether the dominant player is abusing the power that comes with the position. The Communication Authority proposed 11 sets of regulations, which include one clause on fair competition and equality of treatment. Safaricom has previously tried to shed off the dominant player and anti-competitive behavior attributes by opening up its M-pesa agency network to other players in the industry.