The Competition Authority of Kenya is the body charged with the mandate of regulating and creating a fair field in all sectors of the economy. CAK has been involved in several matters relating to ICT and media including a recent decision to order all players in the mobile money space to offer consumers a breakdown of the costs involved in mobile money transactions. CAK was also an opponent to a decision fronted by the Communications Authority of Kenya, which sought to declare Safaricom the dominant player in the mobile money space.
A while back, Wananchi Limited which owns Zuku presented a complaint before the authority stating that Multichoice’s DSTV was engaging in unfair practivces owing to its grip of the television sports arena. Multichoice through DSTV owns the exclusive rights to the English Premier league. With sports content as a major driver for the uptake of pay television in Kenya and the African continent, DSTV thus had an advantage over other players in the market. The Competition Authority of Kenya then embarked on an investigation of the pay tv space and its findings were that DSTV had an advantage in the market owing to the monopolization of the English Premier league as well as the local Kenya Premier league.
According to local paper Business Daily, the Competition Authority now wants Multichoice compelled to resell its rights to these rights to rivals which will then open up the industry. The paper further says that CAK may also slap Multichoice with a fine of between 250 Million and 400 Million ove the dominance, which is based on their earnings in the last financial year. During the investigation, the Authority sought to settle with Multichoice but the company rebuffed these attempts instead seeking to go into full contest over the findings. If successful this will be an interesting development as pay televesion providers compete on the basis of developing their own independent content or purchasing rights to content.