Vodacom can’t have Neotel licences

Johannesburg – Vodacom Group, the South African unit of Vodafone Group, won’t be able to take control of licenses owned by Internet provider Neotel. as part of a proposed R7 billion ($449 million) acquisition, according to a court ruling.

Telkom appealed a ruling by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa to approve the transfer of control of licences, spokeswoman Jacqui O’Sullivan said in an e-mailed statement.

The North Gauteng High Court granted the appeal in a Friday ruling, she said.

“Telkom welcomes the decision and believes that it was taken in the best interests of sustainability in the industry,” she said.

Read also: Vodacom rejigs Neotel deal

Vodacom’s acquisition of Neotel from Tata Communications of India. was granted provisional approval by the country’s antitrust and communications regulators last year, and opposed by competitors MTN Group, Cell C and Telkom, which argued the tie-up would give Johannesburg-based Vodacom dominance of South Africa’s high-speed Internet market.