MTN Ready To Battle Etisalat In Court Over Visafone Acquisition

MTN Ready To Battle Etisalat In Court Over Visafone Acquisition

MTN acquired Visafone some weeks ago but that’s longer news. Etisalat decided to drag MTN to court over this because the acquisition gave MTN an unfair advantage over competitors. Etisalat is actually challenging MTN’s use of the 800MHZ spectrum which becomes possible with the acquisition of Visafone.

At the moment, none of the mobile operators has fully deployed broadband service yet but MTN now has an advantage with this acquisition but Etisalat is challenging this on the grounds of Section 86 of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003. Chineze Amanfo, Etisalat Head of Media said in a statement:

The use of the 800MHz spectrum to deploy broadband services ahead of its competitors, particularly those who prior to MTNs purchase of Visafone, held similar spectrum bands as MTN, will further entrench MTN’s dominance in the Nigerian telecommunications sector. We have in addition and in line with Section 86 of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003 engaged the NCC to understand the basis of its decision to approve the acquisition. As you are aware, the matter is already in court as such, we are restrained from commenting further on the matter

MTN has responded with it’s readiness to defend its defend its acquisition. An MTN executive, Amina Oyegbola said:

Etisalat has filed a lawsuit against MTN and Visafone, and we have filed appropriate processes before the court for necessary determination. The acquisition of Visafone was concluded after obtaining all necessary statutory and regulatory approvals. I am not able to comment further as the matter is subjudice.

She added that the acquisition will aid in leveraging resources for service enhancement and this would improve the growth and rollout of broadband service across the country.

This is not the first time Etisalat is dragging MTN to court. In July 2015, Etisalat filed a suit against MTN and NCC at a Federal High Court in Lagos seeking an order force NCC to to make MTN withdraw its 11kb/s tarriff plan. MTN filed a preliminary objection and the lawsuit was striked out.
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