The Competition Commission has recommended to the Competition Tribunal that the sale of Altech Autopage’s subscriber bases to mobile operators Vodacom, MTN and Cell C be approved without conditions.
The decision takes Altech Autopage, which is own by the JSE-listed technology group Altron, a step closer to shutting up shop.
TechCentral reported last month that Autopage is likely to be closed down as soon as February next year. This follows its decision to sell its million or so subscribers to the network operators, for which it’s set to receive up to R1,5bn.
Altron took the decision to close Autopage after steep cuts in wholesale inter-network call rates — known as mobile termination rates — put immense pressure on margins as mobile operators slashed retail rates and put pressure on channel partners.
Although consumers took advantage of the lower rates by making more calls, this was not sufficient to make up for the decline in prices, said Autopage CEO Boyd Chislett.
In a separate development, the Competition Commission has also recommended to the tribunal that Adapt IT’s R217m acquisition of CQS Investments, announced in October, also be approved without conditions. — (c) 2015 NewsCentral Media