ABN - Kenya’s telecoms regulator has published a revised competition report which reveals it has dropped controversial plans to split Safaricom into separate business units.
The decision by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has drawn ire from smaller rival national telecoms firms, including Airtel and Telkom Kenya, who have long argued that Safaricom enjoys an unfair monopoly in the Kenyan telecoms sector.
The U-turn by the CA comes after an initial draft report which was leaked in February 2017 recommended the break-up of the company in order to boost competition in the sector.
Under the new division of its business, Safaricom would have seen its voice and mobile money units split into stand-alone businesses that would compete with rival firms.
The company, 35% owned by South African firm Vodacom and 5% by Vodacom’s majority shareholder Vodafone, would have also been required to share its vast infrastructure network with competitors.
Safaricom not only dwarfs its rivals in the national telecoms industry, but its market capitalisation at Sh719 billion is larger than the next nine biggest companies listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) combined.
29.4 million people use Safaricom’s telecoms services, 71.9% of Kenya’s total.