Telecom analyst, Fouad Chalabi, has backed the National Communications Authority (NCA) to ensure that Telecel goes through all the right procedures before acquiring Vodafone Ghana.

His assertion follows media reports suggesting that the NCA is blocking the sale of Vodafone Ghana to Telecel.

Speaking to Joy Business, Mr. Chalabi maintained that the role of the regulator is to protect subscribers and ensure a fair competition, hence, the NCA can have a say on acquisitions.

“I support the NCA. No disrespect to Telecel. When somebody is taking over Vodafone which is among the number one telecom firms in the world when it comes to their operations and their number of subscribers. You have to check and make sure the transaction meets the rules”, he said.

He explained that normally, regulators are watchful when a giant company in an industry is being acquired by a company which is not a market leader.

“If it were Vodafone buying Telecel, then the regulator will not raise a lot of issue because it is among the number one list in the world” he said.

In such transactions, Mr. Chalabi pointed out that the regulator would want to know the circumstances that may force a major player to exit a particular market to inform policy direction.

Background

The National Communications Authority (NCA) earlier refuted claims of blocking the sale of Vodafone Ghana’s operations to Telecel Group.

The Authority in a statement issued on August 2, 2022, stated that such claims are false and should be disregarded.

According to the NCA, it “only endeavoured to ensure compliance with regulatory framework and international best practice.”

The Authority noted that “in January 2022, the NCA received an application for the transfer of 70% majority shares in Ghana Telecommunications Company Limited (Vodafone Ghana) from Vodafone International Holdings B.V. to the Telecel Group.”

It added that “in accordance with due process, the Authority evaluated the application on various criteria and engaged both Vodafone and Telecel Group”.

“After a critical regulatory review and evaluation, the NCA concluded that the request did not meet the regulatory threshold for approval to be granted,” the statement concluded.