COMESA Competition Commission Initiates Probe into ATC and Airtel Operations

The COMESA Competition Commission launches Inquiry into alleged anti-competitive agreements between ATC and Airtel Africa.

The COMESA Competition Commission (CCC) has announced an investigation into potential violations by American Tower Corporation (ATC) and Airtel Africa. The probe, pursuant to Article 21 of the COMESA Competition Regulations, focuses on potential breaches of Article 16, which prohibits agreements that could impede trade and competition within the Common Market.

A complaint lodged with the Commission alleges anti-competitive practices between ATC and Airtel Africa. It suggests that agreements between the two companies compel Airtel to annually acquire a certain number of ATC sites, with ATC providing financial rebates in return. The CCC will scrutinize this conduct to ascertain its impact on the Common Market and will take appropriate action as per the Regulations.

However, the initiation of investigations does not presuppose guilt on the part of ATC or Airtel. The Commission will conduct an inquiry to determine whether the alleged conduct indeed hinders competition within the Common Market or a substantial portion thereof, as outlined in Part 3 of the Regulations.

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