Telkom CEO Mugo Kibati has faulted the existence of a single-player telecommunications market and has questioned Safaricom’s interference in the ongoing merger between Telkom and Airtel. The merger, which the CEO has affirmed is ongoing has been suspended by the Communications Authority of Kenya, due to ongoing graft investigations by EACC over Telkom’s past dealings. On 14th August, EACC reached out to Telkom as it commenced investigations on the misappropriation of funds in 2012, raising the alar for other industry regulators in the process.
However, on 30th August, last week, Safaricom wrote to the Communications Authority and urged the body not to allow the merger, citing it had concerns it wants to address. Speaking to the press at Telkom Plaza on Tuesday, Kibati Mugo Kibati said the further delay of the process will affect employees at Telkom and the retrenched, who are set to be absorbed in the new business entity after the merger. He said it’s unfortunate that the dominant telco market player in Kenya, Safaricom wants to delay the process, “Does the dominant player not want to see the sector grow? Is the dominant player wary of competition and even more precisely wary of competitive pricing, choice and value for money for the consumer?”
He said falling victim to a monopoly will have negative impacts, and that it poses a systematic risk of price increase, innovation inertia and a stunted telco market owing to lack of competition. The Telkom boss said investors will loathe a monopoly market. Furthermore, he has affirmed that the merger process is ongoing and EACC will receive all the information and cooperation they have requested.