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Airtel Africa and ATC Deal Receives Approval after Probe

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

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Airtel Africa, a telecommunication service provider, and American Tower Corporation have entered an agreement to provide better services to Kenyan citizens.


Atlas Towers Kenya filed a complaint against this agreement and reported it to Kenyan regulators, CAK. 

Airtel Africa and ATC Agreement gets Probed

CAK, the Competition Authority of Kenya, probes the agreement between Airtel Africa and ATC based on Atlas’ complaints. Atlas claimed the agreement would lead to vertical restrictions of trade. 

A vertical restriction of trade is an agreement between companies at different levels of production and distribution. According to Atlas, such an agreement pushes other competitors out of the market. 

Furthermore, Atlas claimed ATC offered some money back to Airtel as an incentive once the service provider had leased the stipulated number of ATC towers. 

Due to the complaint from Atlas, Kenyan regulators, CAK, probed Airtel Africa and ATC to ensure the smooth operation of the Kenyan market. 

CAK investigation reveals Airtel Africa and ATC agreement wasn’t a vertical restriction of trade. The Kenyan organization stated that vertical restriction of trade is only an issue when one company has a dominant position over the other company in the market. 

However, none of the two companies, Airtel Africa and ATC, held a dominant position in the market. 

Airtel Africa And ATC Agreement Clear Of Trade Restriction Accusation

Furthermore, CAK stated that for a company to be dominant over another, it has to control at least one-half of the total services of any description supplied or provided in the country. 

However, Airtel Africa, a service provider in Kenya, controls only a market share of 0.93%. ATC, the infrastructure owner, controls a share of 38.81% of the infrastructure market in Kenya. 

This reveals that none of the companies control one-half of the total services they supply. 

The regulators concede that Airtel Africa and ATC can go ahead with the agreement as it is not a threat to the other operators in the Kenyan market. 

The companies’ combined efforts will substantially increase connectivity on the continent, extend digital inclusion to underserved communities, and advance their mutual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction objectives.

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Abdullahi Kafayat
Abdullahi Kafayat

Abdullahi Kafayat is an enthusiastic writer interested in the tech world. She's a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University and has a BSc in Chemistry. You can reach her at Kafayatabdullahi17@gmail.com.

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