Tuesday, February 19, 2019

MTN Cameroon condemned for anti-competitive practices against Express Union (Court of appeal)

On 20 July 2018, the Central region’s court of appeal accused the mobile operator MTN Cameroon of anti-competitive practices against the Cameroonian money transfer provider Express Union.

This jurisdiction then endorsed a previous accusation on 24 January 2017 from the CFI Yaoundé Administrative Centre ordering MTN Cameroon to restore in its entirety, for the benefit of Express Union, the USDD code *050#, under a penalty payment of CFA500,000 per day.

As reported, this USSD code allows any Express Union user to transfer money via a mobile phone irrespective of the operator to which they subscribe. But on 7 June 2016, MTN Cameroon suspended the code since the company also offers money transfer services. Subsequently, Express Union complained to the Telecom Regulatory Agency, which ordered MTN on 18 October the same year to reinstate the *050# portal.

An injunction ignored by the mobile operator, forcing Express Union to take legal action, which has just ruled in its favor for the second time.

As a reminder, Express Union previously initiated such procedure against Orange Cameroon, before the National Competition Commission. But as MTN, Orange also rejected accusations, recalling they have never partnered with Express Union for the USSD code *050#.

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