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Telkom to pay R449m fine

Follow agreement with competition authorities.

JOHANNESBURG – Telkom has agreed to pay the R449m fine the Completion Tribunal slapped on the telecommunication group in August last year for using its dominant market position to bully several internet service providers and data businesses.

The complaint against Telkom was brought by industry body South African Value Added Networks Services (Sava) and other complainants for Telkom’s uncompetitive behaviour between 2004 and 2009.

Telkom appealed against the ruling, after which the Competition Commission filed a cross-appeal.

Telkom stated in a SENS statement on Tuesday that it has reached a settlement with the commission to withdraw their respective appeals and that it will now pay the fine of R449m.

The fine is only a fraction of the R3.5bn fine the commission initially sought.

Telkom would now pay 50% of the fine within six months and the balance within 18 months of the withdrawal.

Although group has already made provisions for the fine in the company’s reported results for the six months to September 30 last year, it could not have come at a worse time.

The group warned earlier this month that it expects its full year headline earnings to fall by at least 20%. The results will be published on or around June 14.

Telkom’s share price shed 5c on Tuesday to end at R13,45, a new 52-week low.

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