The Competitions Authority of Kenya (CA) has come to Safaricom’s defense against claims that the telco has abused its dominance in the market.
Speaking to the Senate, CA director-general Wang’ombe Kariuki said Safaricom’s Mpesa, Voice and SMS service had passed the compliance checks. The telco also passed checks ascertaining that it had not engaged in contracts or practices that could expose its rivals, Airtel and Telkom, to unfair competition.
According to CA, T-Kash by Telkom and AirtelMoney by Airtel had in the last few years increased their market share in the mobile money market.
Safaricom holds more than half the market share in mobile money transfers, mobile data, voice and SMS. This has attracted criticism from its rivals and the parliament.
“Agreements between Safaricom PLC and its agents are free of clauses limiting the agents from trading in products from Safaricom’s competitors,” Mr Wang’ombe said.
“Secondly, the market share of the top firm, Safaricom PLC, has been decreasing over time. This indicates lack of significant market power.”
Safaricom mobile subscribers decreased from 80 percent in September 2010 to 63.6 percent in September 2020, an indication that Airtel and Telkom had attracted a section of the subscriber base.
The competitions Act stipulates that ause of a dominant market position can attract a five-year prison term and a fine not exceeding Sh10 million.