In South Africa, the Competition Tribunal has ordered Vox Telecom and fibre subsidiary Frogfoot to hand over confidential documents to Vodacom and Maziv’s external legal advisors and economic experts.
These advisors will be required to sign confidentiality undertakings, the Tribunal stated.
Vodacom hopes to acquire a 30% stake in Maziv, a new company established to hold the assets of Vumatel and Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) assets.
Vodacom would contribute substantial parts of its fibre network, valued at US$ 220 million, and at least US$472 million cash as part of the deal.
BMA understands that Vodacom’s fibre assets that would be added to Maziv’s stable include its residential, business, and tower fibre infrastructure. It excludes Vodacom’s long-distance network.
The companies have assured that Vodacom’s fibre network would immediately become open access, adopting the same wholesale model as Vumatel and DFA.
However, the Competition Commission recommended against the deal being approved.
According to Vodacom and Maziv’s application to the Tribunal, the Commission relied on data and documents provided by Vox to reach its conclusion.
They would like their legal advisors and economists to have access to the information to ensure they deal with it appropriately in their submission to the Competition Tribunal.
Vox revealed in its arguments opposing Vodacom and Maziv’s application to access the confidential data that includes costs, prices, market shares, volumes, revenues, and pricing in the fibre-to-the-home and business fibre markets.
Vodacom and Maziv told the Tribunal on Wednesday, 31 January 2024, that Vox had previously only agreed to provide access to the information under “absurd” conditions.
They said Vox would not provide copies of the confidential information for their advisors, instead insisting that they view the documents at Vox’s premises or those of the Competition Commission.