MTN considers legal options over Cell C ad campaign

MTN considers legal options over Cell C ad campaign

South Africa’s second mobile operator MTN is considering its legal options following an advertising campaign by Cell C telling subscribers to change network away from the company opposing the new mobile termination rate (MTR) regulations.

HumanIPO reported earlier this month MTN has launched a legal challenge to the new regulations, which provide for 50 per cent cuts to MTRs, as well as asymmetry in pricing in favour of smaller operators.

Cell C responded to the legal suit by launching an advertising campaign which tells consumers “not everyone” is pleased about the prospective cut to the cost of communications, and tells consumers to “change to the network who’s on your side”.

“MTN is exploring its options,” Fusi Mokoena, general manager for commercial legal at MTN South Africa, said today.

Cell C said it does not believe there is any ground for legal complaint caused by its new advertising campaign.

“Cell C does not believe that there is a basis for any legal action by MTN but is prepared to meet any claim that MTN may bring,” said Graham Mackinnon, chief legal officer at Cell C.

HumanIPO reported on Friday Zunaid Bulbulia, chief executive officer (CEO) of MTN South Africa, said the new MTR regulations constitute “regulatory attack” and hinder South Africa’s economic development.

According to Bulbulia, legal action was the only path open to the operator regarding the regulations, as attempted discussions with the regulator – the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) – failed. Bulbulia said the legal case is “regrettable”.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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