Telecommunications companies; Airtel and Safaricom have asked to negotiate an out-of-court settlement in a case Airtel accused rival company of abusing its market dominance in provision of mobile money transfer services.
Airtel filed the case late last year contesting a decision by CAK to terminate a complainant asking the communication authority to investigate Safaricom for unfairly pricing M-Pesa services between its subscribers and rival networks.
M-Pesa transfer prices have cemented Airtel’s dominance in the telecommunications industry though the lawyers indicate they may have an agreement mid next month. This comes after Airtel and Orange earlier asked big player Safaricom to allow collaboration in mobile money agencies around the country.
Leading mobile money platform M-Pesa has however invested heavily in the establishment of the service with a current market share of 73 percent commanding more than 18 million clients and would hence not give rival companies a lee way to customers having upgraded their systems and efficiency over the past seven years.
Safaricom has also been accused for charging unregistered users at double the price of registered clients and therefore wrote the issue to Communications Authority of Kenya which is the acting communications watchdog which did not terminate the services at the time neither did it provide the particulars of the settlement offered by Safaricom.
The proposed settlement will be the first in Kenya’s highly competitive mobile telecoms market that has long been hit by accusations and counter accusations of sabotage and unfair trading practices.