Vodacom gets ICASA approval for Neotel deal
16 June 2015 |
The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has approved Vodacom’s 7 billion rand offer to purchase internet provider Neotel, subject to conditions.
The approval will be subject to compliance with a local ownership law and adherence to terms regarding the rollout of broadband infrastructure and services.
“We are pleased to receive approval for the transaction,” said Vodacom. "We will work with ICASA to finalise the conditions of the approval."
In May 2014 Vodacom, 65% owned by Vodafone UK, agreed to purchase Neotel from India’s Tata Communications. Neotel is majority-owned by Tata Communications and is South Africa’s second-biggest fixed-line phone operator. The acquisition would give Vodacom access to a large fibre-optic network for high-speed internet.
Rivals such as Africa’s MTN and Cell C have opposed the deal, saying the acquisition would make Vodacom too dominant and impede competition.
The deal is still subject to approval from the competition regulators.