Michael Joseph denies claim Safaricom out to derail Telkom-Airtel merger

By , K24 Digital
On Tue, 3 Sep, 2019 17:14 | < 1 min read
Telkom Kenya CEO Mugo Kibati claims Safaricom is out to scuttle their planned merger with Airtel. PHOTO | FILE

Telecommunications service provider Telkom Kenya has accused the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and its competitor Safaricom of meddling in its planned merger with Airtel Kenya.

Telkom Chief Executive Officer Mugo Kibati said Safaricom wrote a protest letter to the Communications Authority despite the merger having already been given the green light by the regulator.

The Telkom-Airtel merger, which was expected to be finalized before December this year, was intended to even out the telecommunications playing field.

“We are staring at a possibility of a monopoly that leaves consumers with no choice for alternative products as well as investors at a distance to invest in such a market,” said Mr Kibati.

This comes as the telco is facing investigations by the EACC into allegations of misappropriation of public funds during a restructuring done in 2012.

But Mr Kibati said the investigation impacts negatively on the planned merger.

“The requisite regulators have been put a pause on the approval process. Further delays could find Kenya staring at a potential of reversal of the telco sector into a monopoly, impacting negatively on consumers and the economy.

In a phone conversation, however, Safaricom acting Chief Executive Officer Michael Joseph denied the allegation claims they are out to sabotage the planned merger.

“It’s not true. We said we have some concerns about the merger and we submitted those concerns to the Communications Authority, that’s it. We can only submit our concern but since there is no Board of Directors at the Communication Authority we have to just wait and see.”

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