Zimbabwe’s Competition and Tariff and Commission (CTC) has started gathering information which may result in a full investigation into alleged non competitive behavior by Econet Wireless. According to the Herald, CTC has arranged a meeting with Econet officials after numerous complaints by its rivals. The CTC will engage the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) to better understand the regulatory issues around mobile money business.
Sources told the Herald the commission is still establishing facts and doing interviews with complainants who have leveled allegations against Econet. They have alleged that the mobile network is involved in non competitive behavior and monopolistic practices. Leading the charge has been the banking sector, which has raised issues with Econet over its new banking ventures and a directive that all suppliers to Econet must have an account with Steward Bank.
Econet clashed with banks after it agreed in February 2014 to connect banks to the USSD platform for other value added services, but ended up creating a separate USSD to EcoCash for banks for mobile money transfer services. The implications for setting up a separate USSD for banks were that Econet would be able to charge banks a separate tariff which is much higher than the prevailing SMS charges and also much higher than what Econet is charging those who are connected to EcoCash.