Tribunal approves Altech Autopage mergers

MTN, Vodacom, Cell C taking over the company's subscriber bases. By Antoinette Slabbert.


The Competition Tribunal has given the green light to Altron subsidiary Altech Autopage to sell its subscriber bases to respective service providers, namely MTN, Vodacom and Cell C.

While the Competition Commission recommended unconditional approval, the tribunal set certain conditions for all three mergers, aimed at the protection and assistance of affected employees.

This comes after the Altron group decided last year to exit the market due to changed regulatory and economic conditions that impacted negatively on Altech Autopage’s business case.

The transaction, worth more than R1,5bn, would see Altech Autopage’s clients on Vodacom prepaid and contract sold to Vodacom and the same with Cell C and MTN.

Altech Autopage’s largest client, on-biller Saicom, in December approached the tribunal with concerns about the effect of the mergers on competition in the market. As a result, the tribunal instructed the Competition Commission to do further investigation.

This investigation report was recently finalised, but Saicom was still not satisfied. It applied to be allowed to intervene, which would have given it access to documentation relating to the mergers and the right to lead evidence and question witnesses.

The application was denied on Wednesday, two days before the mergers were approved.

The Competition Commission is still investigating allegation of pre-implementation of the mergers.

  • This piece was first published on Moneyweb and is used here with permission

Share this article

Why TechCentral?

We know that as a prospective advertiser, you are spoilt for choice. Our job is to demonstrate why TechCentral delivers the best return for your advertising spend.

TechCentral is South Africa’s online technology news leader. We don’t say that lightly. We believe we produce the country’s best and most insightful online tech news aimed at industry professionals and those interested in the fast-changing world of technology.

We provide news, reviews and comment, without fear or favour, that is of direct relevance to our fast-expanding audience. Proportionately, we provide the largest local audience of all technology-focused online publishers.

We do not constantly regurgitate press releases to draw in search engine traffic — we believe websites that do so are doing their readers and advertisers a disservice. Nor do we sell “editorial features”, offer advertising “press offices” or rely on online bulletin-board forums of questionable value to advertisers to bolster our traffic.

TechCentral, which is edited and written by award-winning South African journalists, cares about delivering top-quality content to draw in the business and consumer readers that are of most interest to technology advertisers.

We’d like the opportunity to demonstrate the value of directing a portion of your advertising budget to TechCentral, whether your company is in the technology field or not. Numerous opportunities exist for companies interested in reaching our audience of key decision-makers in South Africa’s dynamic information and communications technology sector. We offer packages that will deliver among the best returns on investment available in the online technology news space.

For more information about advertising opportunities, and how your organisation can benefit by publicising itself on TechCentral, please call us on 011-792-0449 during office hours. Or send us an e-mail and ask for our latest rate card and brochure.